long-spine porcupinefish

Scientific name Diodon holocanthus
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1758
IUCN category LC
Family Diodontidae
Genus Diodon
Diodon holocanthus Diodon holocanthus


Diodon holocanthus, commonly known as long-spine porcupinefish, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    20 cm
  • Maximum size
    35 cm
  • Shape
    Balloon and near
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    20 cm
  • Maximum size
    35 cm
  • Shape
    Balloon and near
  • Pattern

How to recognize the long-spine porcupinefish ?

This species belongs to the group of pufferfish. These fish are nicknamed like this because they have the ability to inflate themselves when they feel threatened.

To achieve this inflation, they swallow water and fill their stomach to more than double their volume. This is made possible by their stretchy skin. This subterfuge makes them look much more impressive to their predators. They are also much more complicated to swallow. This change in shape becomes a disadvantage for these fish that, once inflated, can hardly move.

The long-spine porcupinefish measures between 20 and 35 cm. This fish is bicolore with a predominantly marron and beige body. The has the particularity to be covered with prickles. The also has marron mottling.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    omnivorous with carnivorous tendency
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

Tetrodotoxin or TTX is a neurotoxin produced by bacteria. In this species, it is present in large quantities in the liver, viscera and gonads but is also found in the skin.

Females are more toxic than males, this is due to the high concentration of TTX in the ovaries.

When poisoned, TTX is fatal in more than 50% of cases. This neurotoxin acts on the pores of the sodium channels, which stops the passage of nerve impulses, resulting in partial or total paralysis. Death is most often due to respiratory paralysis triggering cardiac arrest by collapse.

The long-spine porcupinefish is a fish solitary naturally found in the vegetation. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency .

n general, this species does not care much about other animals crossing its path.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert

The long-spine porcupinefish is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    25 - 30 °C
  • Depth
    2 - 35 m
  • Flow
    Medium and Slow

Biotope presentation

The long-spine porcupinefish is most often found at a depth between 2m and 35m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope


Not recommended

We do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium. It has unpredictable needs which, if not met, generate significant stress, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, an interruption of its growth or the development of pathogens.

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer

Patrick Chartrer

Patrick Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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