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Cyclichthys spilostylus.jpg
Cyclichthys spilostylus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Diodontidae
Genus: Cyclichthys
Kaup, 1855 [1]

C. hardenbergi
C. orbicularis
C. spilostylus

Species of the genus Cyclicthys, which are members of the family Diodontidae, are usually known as swelltoads.

Distinguishing features[edit]

Fish of the genus Cyclicthys have three-rooted, rigid spines (actually modified scales) distributed over their bodies, and beak-like jaws, used to crush their hard-shelled prey (crustaceans and molluscs).[2] They differ from the porcupinefishes of the genus Diodon, which have moveable spines.

Defensive mechanisms[edit]

Like Tetraodontidae (blowfish) they have the ability to inflate themselves. Their inflated size combined with their spines make them extremely difficult to swallow. They may be poisonous, through the accumulation of tetrodotoxin or ciguatera.[2]


There are currently three recognized species in this genus:[3]


  1. ^ WoRMS (2012). Nicolas Bailly, ed. "Cyclichthys Kaup, 1855". FishBase. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Lieske, E. and Myers, R. F. (2004) Coral reef guide; Red Sea London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Cyclicthys in FishBase. October 2012 version.