Freckled Porcupinefish, Diodon holocanthus Linnaeus 1758


Other Names: Fine-spotted Porcupinefish, Fine-spotted Porcupine-fish, Freckled Porcupine-fish, Long-spined Porcupine Fish, Longspined Porcupinefish, Long-spined Porcupine-fish

A Freckled Porcupinefish, Diodon holocanthus, in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, February 2015. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:
A pale greyish-brown to dark brown porcupinefish peppered in small black spots, becoming whitish below, with 6 large brown blotches and bars (sometimes indistinct) on the upper half of the body, and unspotted fins. The head and body are covered in long erectile spines. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Diodon holocanthus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Sep 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/475

Freckled Porcupinefish, Diodon holocanthus Linnaeus 1758

More Info


Distribution

Widespread in Australia from Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, (and possibly south to Fremantle), around the tropical north to at least Ulladulla, New South Wales, with a specimen washed ashore at Wilsons Promontory, Victoria; also the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is circumglobal in tropical waters.
Inhabits shallow coral and rocky reefs to open soft bottom areas, including muddy substrates. Juveniles often shelter around floating Sargassum rafts. 

Features

Dorsal fin 13-15; Anal fin 13-15; Pectoral fin 20-24.
Body spines all erectile (movable through at least 90°), with 2 roots (except a few around gill opening or dorsal-fin base); no spines entirely on caudal peduncle; no small downward-pointing spine below anterior margin of eye; 12-15 spines along ventral midline from lower jaw to anus; 12-16 spines from snout to dorsal base; chin with a pair of short barbels.

Feeding

Feeds nocturnally on molluscs, sea urchins and crabs.

Biology

Juveniles and sub-adults sometimes form small to large groups.

Remarks

Randall & Johnson (2019) consider Atopomycterus bocagei (Steindachner 1866) to be valid as Diodon bocagei.

Etymology

The specific name is from the Latin holo- (= entire) and acanthus (= spine, thorn), in reference to the long spines covering the body.

Species Citation

Diodon holocanthus Linnaeus, 1758. Systema Naturae 1: 335. Type locality: India.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2021

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Freckled Porcupinefish, Diodon holocanthus Linnaeus 1758

References


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Brainerd, E.L. 1994. Pufferfish inflation: functional morphology of postcranial structures in Diodon holocanthus (Tetraodontiformes). Journal of Morphology 220: 243-261.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Fujita, T., Hamaura, W., Takemura, A. & Takano, K. 1997. Histological observations of annual reproductive cycle and tidal spawning rhythm in the female porcupine fish Diodon holocanthus. Fisheries Science 63(5): 715-720.

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398.

Hutchins, J.B. 1990. Fish survey of South Passage, Shark Bay, Western Australia. pp. 263-278 in Berry, P.F., Bradshaw, S.D. & Wilson, B.R. (eds). Research in Shark Bay: Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

Leis, J.M. 1978. Systematics and zoogeography of the porcupinefishes (Diodon, Diodontidae, Tetraodontiformes), with comments on egg and larval development. Fishery Bulletin (U.S.) 76(3): 535-567 figs 1-28

Leis, J.M. 2001. Diodontidae. pp. 3958-3965 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Leis, J.M. 2006. Nomenclature and distribution of the species of the Porcupinefish family Diodontidae (Pisces, Teleostei). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1): 77-90.

Leis, J.L., Matsuura, K., Shao, K.-T., Hardy, G., Zapfe, G., Liu, M., Jing, L., Tyler, J. & Robertson, R. 2015. Diodon holocanthus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T193817A115332473. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T193817A2282138.en. Downloaded on 23 October 2021.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp. See ref at BHL

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

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 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-014-0444-5

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E. & Johnson, J.W. 2019. Diodon bocagei (Steindachner, 1866), a valid species of porcupinefish (Tetraodontidae [sic]: Diodontidae), from New South Wales, Australia. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 26(2): 45-48.

Randall, J.E., Rogers, C.S. & Ogden, J.C. 2019. The circumtropical swarm population of the longspined porcupinefish (Diodon holocanthus Linnaeus). aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 25(2): 53-80.

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Steindachner, F. 1866. Über die Fische von Port Jackson in Australien. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien 3(7): 50-55 (described from Port Jackson as Atopomycterus bocagei)

Steindachner, F. 1866. Zur Fischfauna von Port Jackson in Australien. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften. Wein 53(1): 424–480 (as Atopomycterus bocagei)

Swainston, R. 2011. Swainston's Fishes of Australia: The complete illustrated guide. Camberwell, Victoria : Penguin Australia 836 pp.

Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15 (described from North West Islet, Queensland as Diodon armillatus)

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37469005

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-100 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:50 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map