Diodon holocanthus

Fine-spotted porcupinefish | Balloon Porcupinefish | Balloonfish | Blotched Porcupinefish | Brown Porcupinefish | Freckled Porcupinefish | Hedgehog Fish | Long-spined Porcupinefish | Spiny Balloonfish | Spiny Porcupinefish | Spiny Puffer
Diodon holocanthus
Diodon holocanthus, Bonaire, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Diodon holocanthus
Diodon holocanthus, Banda, Indonesia, Photo: Joe Shields
Diodon holocanthus
Diodon holocanthus, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Diodon holocanthus
Diodon holocanthus
Diodon holocanthus


Temperate Africa, Temperate Australasia, Temperate South America, Temperate northern Atlantic, Temperate northern Pacific, Tropical Atlantic/Caribbean, Tropical Eastern Pacific, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Long, needle-like spines. Pale body with numerous small dark spots (except fins) and a few darker blotches.


Max Size: 50 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.8-31.5°C

Depth: 2-200m

Habitat Generalization Index: 11.18

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (4.6% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: extract from RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland