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Balloonfish
Diodon holocanthus
Linnaeus, 1758

Description:
Body with a truncated head, olive to brown. A dusky band runs from eye to eye, dusky blotches or bands may be present on the back. Iris yellow, pupil with iridescent blue-green specks. Head and body with long spines (D. holocanthus 2). Spines usually lowered, but may become erect without inflating the body. Small dark spots on the body, no spots on the fins (D. holocanthus).
Size up to 50 cm.

Habitat:
Inhabits shallow reefs to open soft bottoms, down to 15 m. They are slow swimmers using mainly the pectoral, anal and dorsal fin. Feed during the night on mollusks, sea urchins, hermit crabs and crabs.
Juveniles pelagic to about 6 - 9 cm.

Distribution:
Occasionally to uncommon Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Balloonfish (Diodon holocanthus)