The Black-blotched porcupinefish is a medium-sized fish which grows up to 65 cm (26 in), but the average size most likely to be observed is 45 cm (18 in). Its body is elongated with a spherical head with big round protruding eyes and a large mouth that is rarely closed. The pectoral fins are large, the pelvic fins are absent, the anal and dorsal fins are close to the caudal peduncle. The latter move simultaneously during swimming. All fins are a uniform tint of white or yellowish without any spotting. The skin is smooth and firm, the scales are modified into spines directed towards the back. The body coloration is light brown to sandy-yellowwith dark blotches circled with a white line and pale ventral surface. The only other fish with which it might be confused is the long-spine porcupinefish, (Diodon holocanthus) but it has much shorter spines and it lacks a dark streak running between the eyes.
Black blotched porcupinefish's facts
Did you know?
In case of danger, the porcupinefish can inflate itself by swallowing water to deter the potential predator with its larger volume and it can raise its spines defensively.
The porcupinefish concentrates a poison, called tetrodotoxin, in certain parts of its body such as the liver, skin, gonads and the viscera. Tetrodotoxin is a powerful neurotoxin. This defensive system constitutes an additional device to dissuade the potential predators.
Black blotched porcupinefish's Behavior & Ecology
The Black-blotched porcupinefish is found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific area from eastern coasts of Africa to Japan, the Society Islands and Western Australia, and also the southeast of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of South Africa. and can be found in most of the reefs in Maldives. This fish inhabits reef edges and slopes. Hides in caves and ledges during the day and forages at night. Also found below plate-corals during the day and often deep, ranging to at least 40 meters depth. Juveniles occur in lagoons and estuaries.
Black blotched porcupinefish's Feeding
Black-blotched porcupinefish feeds on crustaceans and mollusks.
Black blotched porcupinefish's Relationship with Humans