Spot-fin Porcupinefish [Characteristics, Habitat, and Interesting Facts]

Spot-fin Porcupinefish

Spot-fin Porcupinefish, also known as Spotted Porcupinefish, Black-spotted Porcupinefish, or simply Porcupinefish, is a type of fish that belongs to the Diodontidae family.

It’s found in lagoons and seaward reefs up to 50 meters deep, often hiding in caves and holes within shallow reefs.

Young spot-fin porcupinefish live in open water. As they grow into adults, they become bottom-dwelling creatures.

These fish generally live alone and are active at night. They eat hard-shelled animals like sea urchins, snails, and hermit crabs.

Spot-fin porcupinefish is fairly common but not usually eaten by people.

There was a case of one spot-fin porcupinefish living for a decade and growing up to 27.2 inches (69.0 centimeters) long in an aquarium setting.

However, this species is not reef-safe due to its diet of invertebrates that can harm coral reefs.

Spot-fin Porcupinefish Interesting Facts

  • Spot-fin porcupinefish are nocturnal and mostly solitary, feeding on hard-shelled animals like sea urchins and snails.
  • They have a unique defense mechanism: long, sharp spines that fold back when not inflated to deter predators.
  • This species is found worldwide in warm waters but is harmful to coral reefs due to their diet of invertebrates.

Spot-fin Porcupinefish Habitat

Spot-fin porcupinefish is found worldwide in warm waters. In the Eastern Pacific, it lives from San Diego, California to Chile and the Galapagos Islands.

In the Western Atlantic, it’s found from Bermuda and Massachusetts to Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.

It also lives in parts of the Eastern Atlantic, between 30°N to 23°S.

In the Western Indian Ocean, you can find this fish from the Red Sea to Madagascar, Reunion Island, and Mauritius.

However, its presence in the Mediterranean Sea is uncertain.

This marine fish prefers coral reefs and has a depth range of 2 to 50 meters (6 to 164 feet), but it’s usually found at depths of 3 to 20 meters (10 to 66 feet).

Spot-fin porcupinefish thrives in subtropical environments between latitudes 35°N to 31°S and longitudes 180°W to 180°E.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Spot-fin Porcupinefish Physical Characteristics

Size: 15.7 inches (40.0 centimeters)

Spot-fin porcupinefish grows up to a maximum length of 35.8 inches (91.0 centimeters) long. But it’s usually found around 15.7 inches (40.0 centimeters) long.

This fish can weigh up to 2.8 kg. Spot-fin porcupinefish doesn’t have any spines on its back or near the tail.

Instead, it has between 14 to 17 soft rays on its back and between 14 to 16 soft rays near its tail.

The body of this fish is sturdy, with fused teeth in each jaw. Its skin has many long, sharp spines that fold backward when not inflated.

There are about 16 to 20 spines from the snout to the back fin. The color of spot-fin porcupinefish is light brown with dark spots on its back, sides, and fins.

Its belly is white with a dusky ring around it and covered in spines as well.

Spot-fin Porcupinefish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Diodon hystrix
Also Known As:Spot-fin Porcupinefish, Spotted Porcupinefish, Black-spotted Porcupinefish, Porcupinefish
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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