Porcupine Puffer Information
In its usual or normal state, this fish looks similar to a small baseball bat. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cms) in length and has a single dorsal fin. The spine of this fish is lighter than that of the porcupine fish or the blowfish. The name of the fish itself speaks a lot about its physical characteristics. As the body of the fish is covered with sharp spines which, in some species, are even poisonous; it is known as a porcupine fish.
Similarly, one of the distinct adaptations of the porcupine pufferfish is that it has an ability to inflate its body to almost double its size in order to protect itself from predators. As this fish is unable to swim faster, it has been gifted by this unique mechanism. When a predator attacks the porcupine fish, it inflates its body by inhaling air or water which makes it grow larger in size, and makes its spine protrude from its body. Other fish cannot grip or bite the inflated body of the pufferfish and hence, it is protected from its enemy.
Care and Maintenance
These fish can be petted and kept in aquariums at home. However, they need special care and maintenance in order to live and long and healthy life. These fish tend to inflate themselves immediately when they feel threatened and hence, it can be difficult to take them out of water or move them. In this case, you need to transfer them to a bag of water and later put them in an aquarium. Pufferfish, similar to the porcupine fish, are carnivores and feed on crustaceans. Their favorite food includes crabs, sea urchins, snails and mollusks.
Before keeping these fish in the aquarium as pet, it is essential to know its compatibility with other fishes. Porcupine fish compatibility with other fish is usually ambiguous. Sometimes, they may live cordially or sometimes can even turn aggressive. Wrasses and tangs, up to some extent, can be good tank mates for this fish. However, it is better to keep this fish with the same species in an aquarium. Do not ever include any crustaceans in the aquarium alongside pufferfish as crustaceans are the latter's staple diet.
Porcupine Puffer Facts
Here's some information about the taxonomy, along with some general facts about the fish.
- Family: Diodontidae
- Order: Tetraodontiformes
- Scientific name: Diodon holacanthus
- These fish are nocturnal creatures that hunt and feed at night; but, remain in hiding in the crevices during the day.
- These fish are the non-threatened creatures in aquatic life.
- Pufferfish are poisonous and should not be consumed as it can result in death of the individual. However, in some parts of the world, these are eaten as delicacies where their poisonous parts are removed by trained chefs.
- Some of the species of pufferfish are also found in warm fresh waters.
- The exact form of reproduction and spawning habits of these fish are unknown. However, it is believed that the fertilized eggs hatch on the surface of the sea and enter the reef only when they grow into small fish.
The porcupine pufferfish is always amazing to watch because of its unique features. However, one should remember to take care of the fish and not let it get inflated frequently as it can harm the fish internally. Ciao!