Porcupine Horned Puffer (Chilomycterus schoepfi)
Family: Diodontidae (Porcupinefishes)
Natural Range: Western Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Ocean
Depth: 3 to 36 ft. Size: 10.5 in. Jumps: no Space: 180+ gal.
Reef Safe: No Care Level: Difficult Temperament: Aggressive
Diet: Benthic invertebrates (sea stars, sea urchins, crabs, shrimp)
Natural History: The Porcupine Horned Puffer is commonly observed in seagrass beds and shallow coastal lagoons. It is commonly observed singly, hunting at night. Their spines and organs contain a potent toxin, tetrodotoxin, which protects them. They have few enemies on a reef.
Husbandry: The Porcupine Horned Puffer is an interesting species for captivity. It must be housed in an aquarium with plenty of swimming room and ample hiding places. It will eat a wide variety of ornamental invertebrates so it cannot be housed in a typical reef system. They should be fed a variety of hard-shelled invertebrates to allow them to wear down their fused teeth that grow throughout life. Large individuals can bite. A species that inadvertently dies can cause system collapse if not removed promptly, due to release of potent toxins (tetrodotoxin). More than one of these Porcupinefish can be housed in a single system.
AKA: Striped burrfish
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