Long-spine Porcupinefish, also known as Freckled Porcupinefish, is a type of marine fish from the Diodontidae family.
It lives in shallow reefs, open areas with soft bottoms, and rocky areas. Long-spine porcupinefish usually live alone.
However, this fish tends to congregate in small groups at times. Long-spine porcupinefish is found in muddy, soft-bottomed places and coral reefs.
Young fish often stay near floating seaweed called Sargassum. Besides, you can find this fish live near the bottom of the water. But, it also swims higher up (benthopelagic).
Young long-spine porcupinefish swim freely in the water once it reaches 6 to 9 cm long.
At night, these fish eat mollusks, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and crabs. Long-spine porcupinefish aren’t great swimmers.
This species is used in Chinese medicine and caught using hand nets at the surface of the water. However, it’s not safe for reef tanks.
Long-spine Porcupinefish Interesting Facts
- Long-spine porcupinefish are found worldwide in subtropical waters, including the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.
- They inhabit reef environments at depths of 2 to 200 meters (6 to 656 feet) but are most commonly found at 2 to 35 meters (6 to 115 feet) deep.
- They can grow up to 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters) long but typically reach around 5.9 inches (15.0 centimeters) long.
- These fish have no dorsal spines, and their fins have 13 to 15 soft rays.
- Long-spine porcupinefish are used in Chinese medicine but catching them can be harmful to coral reefs.
Long-spine Porcupinefish Habitat
Long-spine porcupinefish, scientifically known as Diodon holocanthus, is found all around the world.
It lives in the Western Atlantic from Canada to Brazil, including Florida and the Bahamas. In the Eastern Atlantic, it ranges from 30°N to 23°S and is also present in South Africa.
In the Western Indian Ocean, you can find it from the southern Red Sea to Madagascar, Reunion, and Mauritius.
Long-spine porcupinefish also inhabits parts of the Pacific Ocean: from southern Japan down to Lord Howe Island and eastward towards Hawaii and Easter Island.
This fish is also found along North America’s West Coast from southern California down to Colombia and even around the Galapagos Islands.
This marine species typically lives in reef environments at depths of 2 to 200 meters (6 to 656 feet), but it’s most commonly found at depths of 2 to 35 meters (6 to 115 feet).
It thrives in subtropical waters within latitudes of 37°N to 39°S and longitudes of 8°E to 55°W.
Long-spine Porcupinefish Physical Characteristics
Size: 5.9 inches (15.0 centimeters)
Long-spine porcupinefish grows up to a maximum length of 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters) long.
But most of them are usually around 5.9 inches (15.0 centimeters) long.
These fish have no dorsal spines, and their fins have 13 to 15 soft rays on both the top (dorsal) and bottom (anal) parts.
Younger fish that swim in open water have spots, mostly on their bellies.
Adult long-spine porcupinefish have dark patches on their backs with spots in between them, while their fins don’t have any spots.
There are about 14 to 16 spines in a row from the snout to where the dorsal fin starts.
This fish also has a large brown stripe above and below each eye and another brown stripe across the back of its head.