Fish Spot: The Porcupine fish

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Common Name: Porcupine fish

Scientific Name: Diodon Hystrix

Where to spot them here: We see this fish between 5-65 feet, so Chunzumbul, Sabalos or Tortugas are all good sites! They can be seen either in the sand, on top of the reef or in midwater.

How to identify them: A rectangular shaped fish, they are sometimes confused with puffer fish but have heavier spines (hence the name porcupine) on their body. Porcupine fish are medium to large sized fish with giant eyes and a “smiley” mouth.

What you may not know about them: To deter predators Porcupine fish have the ability to inflate their body by swallowing water increasing in size to almost double vertically. The spines produce a toxin which when ingested, progressively shuts down the nervous system and can cause paralysis and death within hours. So while they might look funny when inflated, don’t mess with these ones!

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