Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Diodontidae
Etymology: Diodon: Greek, di = two + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335). More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 50 m (Ref. 9680), usually 3 - 20 m (Ref. 40849). Subtropical; 35°N - 31°S, 111°E - 37°E (Ref. 55213)
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 91.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26999); max. published weight: 2.8 kg (Ref. 40637)
soft rays: 14 - 16. Body robust; teeth united in each jaw but without a central division; body covered with long, sharp spines, folded backwards when body not inflated; 16 to 20 spines between snout and dorsal fin; dorsal region of caudal peduncle spiny; back, flanks and fins light brown with numerous dark spots; belly spiny (Ref. 55763). Spines long. Body grayish tan, with small black spots, but no large dark blotches. Belly white, surrounded by dusky ring (Ref. 26938). About 20 spines in an approximate row between snout and dorsal fin (Ref. 13442).
Circumtropical. Eastern Pacific: San Diego, California, USA to Chile, including the Galapagos Islands (Ref. 37955). Western Atlantic: Bermuda, Massachusetts (USA), and northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil (Ref. 7251). Eastern Atlantic: 30°N to 23°S (Ref. 6951). Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea to Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius (Ref. 33390). Mediterranean (Ref. 50345).
Occur in lagoon and seaward reefs to at least 50 m. Commonly seen in caves and holes in shallow reefs (Ref. 26938, 48637). Juveniles to about 20 cm are pelagic. Adults benthic (Ref. 30573). Solitary and nocturnal that feed on hard shelled invertebrates like sea urchins, gastropods, and hermit crabs (Ref. 9680). Generally common (Ref. 9710). Not normally used as food (Ref. 3717). Reached a life-span of 10 years and a length of 69 cm in the McGinty Aquarium (E. Dashiell, pers. comm 2004), suggesting a preliminary K=0.12.
Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene, 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Poisonous to eat (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5313 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.07410 (0.03800 - 0.14451), b=2.85 (2.66 - 3.04), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax>10; preliminary K=0.12).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (48 of 100) .