Family: DIODONTIDAE, Balloonfishes, Burrfishes, Porcupinefishes
PORCUPINEFISHES, BURRFISHES, BALLOONFISHES
Porcupinefishes are small to medium sized (up to 1 m, many 20-50 cm) fishes; body wide, inflatable; head wide and blunt; nasal organ usually in small tentacles before eyes; teeth fused into a strong, parrot-like beak with two plates that lack a front groove, large, opens widely at front; gill opening a vertical slit before pectoral base; pectorals large; no pelvic fins; fins without spines; body covered with thick, often long, spines, which are either short, immovable and with 3 roots, or longer, erectable and with 2 roots.
The family occurs worldwide in tropical seas and contains 24 species in 8 genera. In our region there are 9 species from 3 genera.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER LEIS (2002)