| Ecological Descriptors
|S, (Co, R)
||Mol, Ech, Cru
Although confused by some with Pufferfish (Tetrodontidae [="four teeth"]), Porcupinefish (Diodontidae [="two teeth"]), differ in their beak-like teeth are fully fused, lacking a noticable groove and have obvious spines on the body. Both families have the ability to enlarge themselves as a predator deterrent.
Adult: Body background is cream, with a honeycomb network of fine lines on body and head. It has 5-7 large dark blotches on back and sides, including one at the base of dorsal fin. Erect spines over body.There are no black spots on body or small black spots on fins. It has a large black spot above pectoral fin and a smaller one beneath and posterior to pectoral fin. Eyes contain iridescent spots/ lines (as also seen in the Balloonfish [Diodon holocanthus]).
Juvenile: Has oranges spines on a black background; fins clear
Adults are found on soft bottoms to depths of 25m (80ft). Its maximum standard length is 30 cm, but usually up to 25cm. This is a solitary species that inhabits soft/sandy bottoms. It most often inhabits coral reefs adjacent to seagrasses and rubble areas. It feeds on hard-shelled invertebrate.
The iridescence in the corneas resembles that of several other fish with colouration created by stacks of multiple layers of connective tissue or collagen fibrils. These plates provide constructive interference and reflect a specific wavelength of light, and are particularly effective when the angle of incidence of light is oblique as bright downwelling sunlight would appear in a shallow reef. These reflected rays have a characteristic multicoloured appearance because only a restricted band of wavelengths is reflected for any single viewing angle. In the fish that have been studied, it has been calculated that the iridescent layer provides a significant increase in the visual range under water without sacrificing sensitivity.
Information on courtship and spawning is scarce. The spawning behavior of the Balloonfish / Diodon holocanthus indicates spawning in the family may be nocturnal. Spawning thought to occur offshore but supporting evidence is lacking.
Web Burrfish Juvenile
Web Burrfish eye