Spotfin Porcupinefish, Chilomycterus reticulatus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Few-spined Porcupine-fish, Spotfin Burrfish, Spottedfin Burrfish

A Spotfin Porcupinefish, Chilomycterus reticulatus, at the Wreck of the Aarhus, Moreton Bay, Queensland. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved

A pale greyish porcupinefish with short scattered non-movable spines, including at least one on the upperside of the caudal peduncle, small widely-spaced dark spots on the head, body and fins, and four diffuse dusky to brown bars, including one below the eye.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Chilomycterus reticulatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Jul 2020,

Spotfin Porcupinefish, Chilomycterus reticulatus (Linnaeus 1758)

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Found in a range of habitats including rocky and coral reefs and associated soft bottoms. Juveniles are pelagic to about 20 cm standard length. Occurs on coral and rocky reefs worldwide in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate seas, usually above 25 m.


Body spines widely-spaced with 3 or 4 roots and fixed in an erect position; one or 2 small spines wholly on dorsal surface of caudal peduncle; normally 10 caudal-fin rays; nasal organ of adults an open, ridged cup; adults with spotted fins; some spines with 4 roots on top of head; one or 2 small spines wholly on dorsal surface of caudal peduncle; no tentacles over eyes.


Feeds on hard-shelled invertebrates.

Species Citation

Diodon reticulatus Linnaeus, 1758, Systema Naturae 1: 334. Type locality: India.


Dianne J. Bray

Spotfin Porcupinefish, Chilomycterus reticulatus (Linnaeus 1758)


  • 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.
  • Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.
  • Leis, J.M. 1986. Family No. 269: Diodontidae. pp. 903-907 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37469014

    Depth:20-100 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:75 cm TL

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