|Distribution of the Long-Spine Porcupinefish|
The species' diet includes sea urchins and hard-shelled mollusks.
- In the Atlantic it is found from Florida and the Bahamas to Brazil and in the Eastern Atlantic from 30°N to 23°S, as well as around South Africa.
- In the western Indian Ocean from the southern Red Sea to Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius.
- In the Pacific Ocean from southern Japan to Lord Howe Island, and east to the Hawaiian and Easter islands. Also from southern California to Colombia and the Galapagos Islands.
Pale in colour with large black blotches and smaller black spots, these spots becoming fewer in number with age. Has many long, two-rooted depressible spines particularly on its head. The teeth of the two jaws are fused into a parrot-like "beak". Adults may reach 50 cm (20 in) in length. The only other fish with which it might be confused is the black-blotched porcupinefish, (Diodon liturosus) but it has much longer spines than that species.
Feeds on mollusks (molluscs), sea urchins, hermit crabs, snails, and crabs during its active phase at night. They use the beak combined with plates on the roof of the mouth to crush their prey such as molluscs and sea urchins that would otherwise be indigestible.
Spawns at the surface at dawn or at dusk in pairs or in groups of males with a single female; the juveniles remain pelagic until they are at least 7 cm (3 in) long. Young and sub-adult fish sometimes occur in groups.
It is used in Chinese medicine, and is captured at the surface with a hand net. It is poisonous if not prepared correctly.
- Tristan Lougher (2006). What Fish?: A Buyer's Guide to Marine Fish. Interpet Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84286-118-9.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "diodon holocanthus" in FishBase. 6 2007 version.
- Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. (2004) Coral reef guide; Red Sea London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2
- "Black-blotched porcupinefish: Diodon liturosus Shaw, 1804". Australian Museum. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- Leis, J.M., 2001. Diodontidae. Porcupine fishes (burrfishes). p. 3958-3965. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles. FAO, Rome.
- "Porcupinefishes". Australian museum. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- Kuiter, R.H. and T. Tonozuka, 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Zoonetics, Australia. p. 623-893.
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