Temperate Oceans Animals

Class: Fishes: 4 classes Diet: Shellfish
Order: Tetraodontiformes: Puffer, Triggerfishes
Size: 91 cm (35 3/4 in)
Family: No Fish family information Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Diodon hystrix Habitat: most common in shallow waters, turtle grass beds
Range: Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans: tropical areas

Size of PorcupinefishSimilar to its relatives the pufferfishes in that it can inflate its body, the porcupinefish is covered with long, sharp spines; these spines normally lie flat but stand out when the body is inflated. It is clearly almost impossible for any predator to tackle this globular pin cushion, and this method of defense compensates the fish for its lack of speed and mobility. It swims slowly, with undulations of its small dorsal and anal fins; it lacks pelvic fins.  The porcupinefish has two fused teeth in each jaw, making a sharp, bird-like beak with which it crushes hard-shelled prey such as crabs, mollusks and sea urchins.

Range of Porcupinefish
Copyright © 2002 Missouri Botanical Garden
MBGnet Home