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Diodon hystrix

Linnaeus, 1758

Common porcupinefish


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Latin name : Diodon hystrix (Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms : Diodon brachiatus (Bloch and Schneider, 1801)
Diodon punctatus (Cuvier, 1818)
Diodon spinosissimus (Cuvier, 1818)
Diodon nudifrons (Jenkins, 1903)
Diodon armillatus (Whitley, 1933)
Diodon totara (Curtiss, 1938)
Classification : Diodontidae ( Porcupinefish )
Name : Diodon
Poisson porc-épic
Poisson armé
Name : Common porcupinefish
Spot-fin porcupinefish
Main identification characters
Spines long. Body grayish tan, with small black spots, but no large dark blotches. Belly white, surrounded by dusky ring. About 20 spines in an approximate row between snout and dorsal fin.

Adults can reach lengths up to 36 inches (91 cm), making them the largest spiny puffer species.

Generally common.
Possible confusions
Feel free to update this datasheet and complete this data.
They are nocturnal predators, with strong jaws for feeding on snails, hermit crabs, and sea urchins. Just as some birds are able to crack open nuts with their strong beak, the porcupinefish can crack open the external skeleton of a sea urchin with its strong beak-like mouth.
Cycle of life / Reproduction
Its wide distribution may be attributed to the pelagic, or open ocean, stage of the eggs and larvae. The eggs are spherical, drift with the current, and hatch after about five days. Early planktonic larvae have large amounts of yolk still present, lack a functional mouth, and have not developed full eye pigmentation. It takes a few days for the yolk to be used up and for the body to develop to where the larvae truly resemble fish. Pelagic juveniles are often associated with large clumps of floating seaweeds called sargassum, and are often consumed by dolphin (mahi mahi) and billfishes. The duration of this pelagic stage is unknown, but at some point the juveniles travel to shallower waters to become adults.
Interaction with other species
Poisonous to eat.

Occurs in lagoon and seaward reefs to at least 50 m. Commonly seen in caves and holes in shallow reefs. Juveniles to about 20 cm are pelagic. Adults benthic.
Geographical distribution
Pacific: San Diego, California, USA to Chile, including the Galapagos Islands and French Polynesia.
Western Atlantic: Bermuda, Massachusetts (USA), and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.
Eastern Atlantic: Mediterranean Sea.
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Découvrir la mer des Cara?bes et l'Atlantique tropical
Steven Weinberg
Nathan, 2000
Découvrir la mer Rouge et l'océan Indien
Steven Weinberg
Editions Nathan 1996, 1997
Guide du récif corallien de Mer Rouge
Helmut Debelius
PLB Editions, 1998
Data sheet written by Christophe Naslain , 19/11/2002

Updates :
Christophe Naslain - 23/11/2002
Abystrale - 27/08/2006

Add a comment

 Comment from julie
tres bien
Posted date 25/05/2005 

 Comment from julie
je sais que j'ai deja répondu mais vous devriez tra duire des chose coome la reproduction
Posted date 31/05/2005 

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