Balloonfish

Balloonfish

Bony Fish

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: balloonfish
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Osteichthyes
ORDER: Tetraodontiformes
FAMILY: Diodontidae
GENUS SPECIES: Diodon holocanthus

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Tan teardrop-shaped body with brown blotches and black spots over entire length. Long spines (typically seen lowered) are found over entire body surface, starting at the forehead. Eyes are large and pronounced with yellow irises. Iridescent blue-green specks may be seen within pupil. Brown band runs over forehead, from eye to eye. Fins are clear. Rounded caudal fin.
SIZE: 20.3-35.6 cm (8-14 in) avg; 50.8 cm (20 in) max
WEIGHT: No data
DIET: Mollusks, crabs, and urchins
INCUBATION: Species exhibits dioecism. Fertilization is external. Spawning primarily occurs in late spring and early summer.
SEXUAL MATURITY: No data
LIFE SPAN: No data
RANGE: Western Atlantic: Florida to Brazil
Eastern Atlantic: Morocco to Angola and South Africa
Western Indo-Pacific: Micronesia and Australia to Africa
Western Central Pacific: Hawaii, Pitcairn, and Easter islands
Eastern Pacific: southern California to Colombia and the Galapagos
HABITAT: 2-100 meters in tropical & sub-tropical marine coastal waters
POPULATION: GLOBAL No data
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. When threatened or frightened, the balloonfish will take in water - thereby noticeably expanding its overall body size. In this inflated state, its spines stand erect. The spines and the enlarged size can prove intimidating to potential predators.
2. Throughout certain Pacific island communities, the balloonfish was historically fashioned as a helmet.
3. For more information about bony fishes, explore the Bony Fishes InfoBook.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

No data

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bond, Carl E. Biology of Fishes - Second Edition. Saunders College Publishing, 1996.

Humann, Paul. Reef Fish Identification - Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc., 1992.

fishbase.org

flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/Porcupine/Porcupine.htm