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 - 200 m (Ref. 5951), usually 2 - 35 m (Ref. 40849). Subtropical; 37°N - 39°S, 8°E - 55°W (Ref. 55210)
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 55763)
soft rays: 13 - 15. Pelagic juveniles with spots, particularly prominent on belly; adults with dark blotches across back and spots between the blotches; fins without spots (Ref. 4423). 14 to 16 spines in an approximate row between snout and origin of dorsal fin; with a large brown bar above and below each eye; a broad transverse brown bar on occipital region of head (Ref. 13442).
Circumtropical in distribution. Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951), Florida, USA and the Bahamas to Brazil (Ref. 7251). Eastern Atlantic: 30°N to 23°S (Ref. 6951); also South Africa (Ref. 4423). Western Indian Ocean: southern Red Sea to Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius (Ref. 53568). Pacific Ocean: southern Japan south to Lord Howe Island and east to the Hawaiian and Easter islands (Ref. 37816). Also from southern California, USA to Colombia (Ref. 11482) and the Galapagos Islands (Ref. 5227).
Inhabit shallow reefs to open, soft bottoms. Also in areas with rocky substrata. Sometimes form groups (Ref. 9710, 48637). Occur on open muddy substrates as well as on rich soft-bottom and coral reefs. Juveniles often with floating Sargassum rafts. Young and sub-adults may form small groups (Ref. 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Juveniles pelagic to about 6-9 cm. Solitary. Feed on mollusks, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and crabs at night (Ref. 9680). Relatively poor swimmers (Ref. 9710). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166). Captured at the surface using a hand net (Ref. 26165).
Leis, J.M., 1984. Diodontidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean fishing area 51. Vol. 2.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)
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=0.05130 (0.02630 - 0.10005), b=2.88 (2.69 - 3.07), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .