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Long-spine Porcupinefish Diodon holocanthus

  Tropical reef fish

Long-spine Porcupinefish

Long-spine Porcupinefish Diodon holocanthus

Identity card

Long-spine Porcupinefish

Scientific name:
Diodon holocanthus
Year of description:
Linnaeus, 1758
IUCN Status:
Least Concern

Circumtropical zone and warm temperate waters.


Down to a depth of 100 metres


The Long-spine Porcupinefish measures between 30 and 50 cm.


Hard-shelled molluscs and crustaceans

Long-spine Porcupinefish Diodon holocanthus

This fish can be toxic to humans, it transmits ciguatera


The long-spine porcupinefish is used in Chinese medicine.
It feeds on hard-shelled molluscs and crustaceans that it crushes with its teeth fused into a powerful beak.

Where is the animal to be found?

The long-spine porcupinefish lives mainly at depths down to 100 metres, in various habitats such as reefs, sandy seabeds and seagrass beds.

How can it be recognised?

Le poisson porc-épic à taches peut gonfler son corps avec de l’eau et déployer ses épines. Il se transforme alors en une boule hérissée quand il se sent menacé, de façon à se protéger d’éventuels prédateurs. Il mesure entre 30 et 50 cm.

What is distinctive about it?

For long-spine porcupinefish, external breeding takes place after the males have gently pushed the females towards the surface of the water. The eggs are spherical and float. They hatch four days after fertilisation.

Tropical reef fish

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