The porcupinefish, or the blowfish or balloon fish as it is also known as, is a medium size fish that is 25-90 cm long. The fish is called so because it has spines all over its body to protect itself from predators.
Facts and Information
One of the unique characteristics of this fish is its ability of inflating its body to almost double the size. It swallows water or air and inflates like a balloon. The body of this fish is covered with long sharp spines that remain covered when the body is deflated. When the fish inflates its body, these spines stand out, and it seems like hundreds of needles are protruding from the body. Hence, this fish is aptly known as the porcupinefish. This is one of its natural mechanisms to keep predators at bay. Once the fish inflates its body, it is simply impossible for its predator to attack. Peculiarly, if a predator gobbles up the fish before it gets time to inflate its body, it still inflates itself in the mouth of the predator, which results in the death of the two. Another unique feature is that the teeth of this fish are fused together as a single row.
Their reproduction method is also very distinct. The male and the female fish mate in the open ocean, or sometimes, a group of males mate with a single female. The eggs fertilized at this time, drift to the surface of the ocean due to currents. When the eggs hatch, the larvae floats on the surface of the water. When the larvae transforms into a small fish, it goes to the bottom of the ocean, in the reef.
Diet and Habitat
These fish are found in warm water oceans, specifically along the Atlantic coast. Their diet usually consists of sea jellies and mollusks. They hunt at night when they move stealthily to find their prey. They also have a natural tendency to spurt jets of water on their prey. If kept in an aquarium, they can spurt water on other objects when they are hungry. These fish also eat crabs, oysters, clams, and snails as they have teeth and jaw modified to crush the hard shells of their prey.
- Family: Diodontidae
- Order: Tetraodontiformes
- Scientific name: Diodon hystrix
- Status: Non-threatened
- These fish fall into nocturnal variety of fish.
- Whale, shark, and large tuna are the predators of porcupinefish.
- They are poor swimmers and cannot move swiftly in the water.
- Mollusks are their favorite prey and food.
- Some species of this fish also have venomous spines.
- These fish are sometimes used as souvenirs in certain places.
Porcupinefish or the blowfish can also be kept as a pet. After reading these facts, we can unanimously agree that the porcupinefish is one of the most interesting and unique aquatic creatures found in the world!