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Porcupinefish

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Porcupinefish are fish belonging to the family Diodontidae (order Tetraodontiformes), also commonly called blowfish and, sometimes, balloonfish and globefish. They are sometimes collectively called pufferfish,[2] not to be confused with the morphologically similar and closely related Tetraodontidae, which are more commonly given this name.

Porcupinefish are medium- to large-sized fish, and are found in shallow temperate and tropical seas worldwide. A few species are found much further out from shore, wherein large schools of thousands of individuals can occur. They are generally slow-moving.[3]

Porcupinefish have the ability to inflate their bodies by swallowing water or air, thereby becoming rounder. This increase in size (almost double vertically) reduces the range of potential predators to those with much bigger mouths. A second defense mechanism is provided by the sharp spines, which radiate outwards when the fish is inflated.

Some species are poisonous, having tetrodotoxin in their internal organs, such as the ovaries and liver. This neurotoxin is at least 1200 times more potent than cyanide. The poison is produced by several types of bacteria obtained from the fish's diet.[4] As a result of these three defenses, porcupinefish have few predators, although adults are sometimes preyed upon by sharks and killer whales. Juveniles are also preyed on by Lysiosquillina maculata, tuna, and dolphins.[3]

Porcupinefish are eaten as food fish and are an exotic delicacy in Cebu, Philippines, where they are called tagotongan.

History

The porcupine fish (as Diodon antennatus) is mentioned in Charles Darwin's famous account of his trip around the world, The Voyage of the Beagle. He noted how the fish can swim quite well when inflated, though the altered buoyancy requires them to do so upside down. Darwin also mentioned hearing that a fellow naturalist, Dr. Allen of Forres, had "frequently found a Diodon, floating alive and distended, in the stomach of the shark; and that on several occasions he has known it eat its way, not only through the coats of the stomach, but through the sides of the monster".[5]

Gallery

In popular culture

A pufferfish named Bloat was voiced by Brad Garrett appeared in the 2003 Disney/Pixar animated film Finding Nemo and the 2016 sequel Finding Dory.

See also

References

  1. ^ Matsuura, K. (2014): Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research, 62 (1): 72-113.
  2. ^ Mills, D. (1993). Cooke, J. (ed.). Aquarium Fish. San Diego: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 281. ISBN 1-56458-293-0.
  3. ^ a b Matsuura, K. & Tyler, J.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 231. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  4. ^ Piper, R. (2007), Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals, Greenwood Press.
  5. ^ Darwin, Charles (1845). Journal of Researches Into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World: Under the Command of Capt. Fitz Roy. J. Murray. p. 14.

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Porcupinefish: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Porcupinefish are fish belonging to the family Diodontidae (order Tetraodontiformes), also commonly called blowfish and, sometimes, balloonfish and globefish. They are sometimes collectively called pufferfish, not to be confused with the morphologically similar and closely related Tetraodontidae, which are more commonly given this name.

Porcupinefish are medium- to large-sized fish, and are found in shallow temperate and tropical seas worldwide. A few species are found much further out from shore, wherein large schools of thousands of individuals can occur. They are generally slow-moving.

Porcupinefish have the ability to inflate their bodies by swallowing water or air, thereby becoming rounder. This increase in size (almost double vertically) reduces the range of potential predators to those with much bigger mouths. A second defense mechanism is provided by the sharp spines, which radiate outwards when the fish is inflated.

Some species are poisonous, having tetrodotoxin in their internal organs, such as the ovaries and liver. This neurotoxin is at least 1200 times more potent than cyanide. The poison is produced by several types of bacteria obtained from the fish's diet. As a result of these three defenses, porcupinefish have few predators, although adults are sometimes preyed upon by sharks and killer whales. Juveniles are also preyed on by Lysiosquillina maculata, tuna, and dolphins.

Porcupinefish are eaten as food fish and are an exotic delicacy in Cebu, Philippines, where they are called tagotongan.

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Description

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Distribution: Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Well-developed sharp spines covering body. Jaws with 2 fused teeth. Opposite premaxillaries and dentaries entirely united at midline. Adults found inshore; the young pelagic.
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bibliographic citation
MASDEA (1997).
Contributor
Edward Vanden Berghe [email]