Part of the spiny puffer family, the balloonfish looks like a floating oval porcupine when its spines are fully erected. The balloonfish is able to inflate its body so it looks larger, with the spines used as a means of warding off prey. When not inflated, the spines, which are a type of scale, lay flat against the body.
These tropical reef fish can be found in many warm, temperate waters worldwide. Spiny ballonfish are colored with shades of brown with distinctive brown patches around the eyes. Their large eyes help them to find prey as they prefer feeding at night. Their diet consists mainly of crabs, sea urchins and mollusks.
Both male and female of D. holocanthus spawn near the surface of the water where the eggs, eventual larvae and even the growing juveniles living farther down in the habitat, are at the mercy of predators. The species typically grows between eight and 14 inches.
Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence.
Other text reference: http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/balloonfish
© Copyright Vince Capone 2013