FIELD GUIDE LINKS:
Family Diodontidae - Porcupinefishes
Diodon hystrix - Porcupine Fish
A Porcupine fish in pale colouration, swimming in the open.
A Porcupine fish in dark colouration, resting in a cave.
Rare at Magnetic Island, but potentially found in most bays with coral reefs. Has been seen in Florence bay.
Reef flats, slopes and crests.
Biology & Ecology
The Porcupine fish feeds at night on hard shelled invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. They have exceptionally strong, chisel like teeth which they use to render the reef in search of food. There is little published information on their ecology, although they are well known for the poison (tetrodotoxin) contained in their skin and internal organs, which has caused many human fatalities.
DANGEROUS: The flesh of this fish is poisonous and should never be eaten. The spines are also poisonous, and the teeth are also very powerful and capable of severing fingers and toes, so care should be taken if handling this fish.
First Aid - Ingestion:
First Aid - Spine wound:
Papers and articles
Mari Yotsu-Yamashita. 2001. Chemistry of pufferfish toxin. J. TOXICOL.—TOXIN REVIEWS, 20(1), 51–66 (2001) .