Porcupinefish Porcupinefish (Diodon nicthemerus)
Photo by Mikkel Elbech
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Tetraodontiformes Family: Diodontidae Genera
See text for genera and species.
They are sometimes confused with pufferfish. Porcupinefish are closely related to pufferfishes but porcupinefish have heavier spines (hence the name porcupine) on their body. Also unlike the pufferfishes, they have only a single plate of fused teeth in each of the upper and lower jaws.
Porcupinefish are medium to large sized fish, and are found in shallow temperate and tropical seas worldwide. A few species are found much further out from shore, wherein large shoals of thousands of individuals can occur. They are generally slow.
Porcupinefish have the ability to inflate their body by swallowing water or air, thereby becoming rounder. This increase in size (almost double vertically) reduces the range of potential predators to those with much bigger mouths. A second defense mechanism is provided by the sharp spines, which radiate outwards when the fish is inflated. Some species are poisonous, having a tetrodotoxin in their internal organs, such as the ovaries and liver. This neurotoxin is at least 1200 times more potent than cyanide. Some scientists believe the poison is produced by several types of bacteria that are somehow obtained via the fish's diet, because fish bred in captivity are not poisonous, however, other scientists are skeptical of this theory. As a result of these three defences, porcupinefish have few predators, although adults are sometimes preyed upon by sharks and orcas. Juveniles are also preyed on by tuna and dolphins.
- Genus Allomycterus
- Deepwater burrfish, Allomycterus pilatus Whitley, 1931
- Allomycterus whiteleyi Phillipps, 1932
- Genus Chilomycterus (Burrfishes, Spiny Boxfishes)
- Pacific burrfish, Chilomycterus affinis Gu:nther, 1870
- Bridled burrfish, Chilomycterus antennatus (Cuvier, 1816)
- Web burrfish, Chilomycterus antillarum Jordan & Rutter, 1897
- Spotted burrfish, Chilomycterus atringa (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Chilomycterus geometricus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
- Spotfin burrfish, Chilomycterus reticulatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Striped burrfish, Chilomycterus schoepfii (Walbaum, 1792)
- Guinean burrfish, Chilomycterus spinosus mauretanicus (Le Danois, 1954)
- Chilomycterus spinosus spinosus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Genus Cyclichthys (Swelltoads)
- Hardenburg's burrfish, Cyclichthys hardenbergi (de Beaufort, 1939)
- Birdbeak burrfish, Cyclichthys orbicularis (Bloch, 1785)
- Spotbase burrfish, Cyclichthys spilostylus (Leis & Randall, 1982)
- Genus Dicotylichthys
- Three-barred porcupinefish, Dicotylichthys punctulatus Kaup, 1855
- Genus Diodon (Porcupinefishes)
- Pelagic porcupinefish, Diodon eydouxii Brisout de Barneville, 1846
- Long-spine porcupinefish, Diodon holocanthus Linnaeus, 1758fish
- Spot-fin porcupinefish, Diodon hystrix Linnaeus, 1758
- Black-blotched porcupinefish, Diodon liturosus Shaw, 1804
- Slender-spined porcupine fish, Diodon nicthemerus Cuvier, 1818
- Genus Lophodiodon
- Four-bar porcupinefish, Lophodiodon calori (Bianconi, 1854)
- Genus Tragulichthys
- Longspine burrfish, Tragulichthys jaculiferus (Cuvier, 1818)
- Balloonfish. Florida Museum of Natural History. Casey Patton. Accessed on June 24, 2005.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Diodontidae" in FishBase. May 2006 version.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2005). "Diodon holocanthus" in FishBase. May 2005 version.
- "Diodontidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=173382. Retrieved 24 June 2005.
- Genus Allomycterus
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Look at other dictionaries:
porcupinefish — [pôr′kyə pīn΄fish′] n. pl. porcupinefish or porcupinefishes (see FISH) any of a family (Diodontidae, order Tetraodontiformes) of tropical, marine bony fishes that can erect the long spines on their body by inflating themselves with air or water:… … English World dictionary
porcupinefish — /pawr kyeuh puyn fish /, n., pl. (esp. collectively) porcupinefish, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) porcupinefishes. any of several fishes of the family Diodontidae, esp. Diodon hystrix, of tropical seas, capable of inflating the … Universalium
porcupinefish — noun spines become erect when the body is inflated; worldwide in warm waters • Syn: ↑porcupine fish, ↑Diodon hystrix • Hypernyms: ↑spiny puffer • Member Holonyms: ↑Diodon, ↑genus Diodon * * * … Useful english dictionary
porcupinefish — por•cu•pine•fish [[t]ˈpɔr kyəˌpaɪnˌfɪʃ[/t]] n. pl. (esp. collectively) fish, (esp. for kinds or species) fish•es. ich a spiny fish, Diodon hystrix, of tropical seas, capable of inflating itself when disturbed • Etymology: 1675–85 … From formal English to slang
Long-spine porcupinefish — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum … Wikipedia
Spot-fin porcupinefish — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum … Wikipedia
Black-blotched porcupinefish — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum … Wikipedia
Diodon — Porcupinefishes Temporal range: 55–0 Ma … Wikipedia
Puffy (mascot) — Puffy is the mascot of the free operating system OpenBSD. Puffy is a porcupinefish, which is used to signify the intention of the developers to make an impregnably secure operating system.Puffy is also the mascot of the child projects of OpenBSD … Wikipedia
Striped burrfish — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum … Wikipedia