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Threebar Porcupinefish

 
Introduction:
Rounded body, covered with spines and a regular pattern of small black spots and a very broad head.
Identification:
Rounded body that is covered with spines. The spines on the back are blade-like and fixed in position, but those on the belly and head can be raised. It has a very broad head, with eyes positioned laterally. The teeth are fused to form a single plate in both jaws. It is green to blue-grey above and white below and covered in small black spots. There is a dark bar under the eye, another on the operculum and a third on the body behind the pectoral fin. Body size up to 43 cm. 
Max. Size:
43 cm.
Distribution:
Eastern Australia
Habitat:
Coastal and offshore reefs, often in rocky areas
Biology:
Is a solitary and nocturnal fish. It feeds on hard-shelled invertebrates. It is common in NSW and occurs both in estuaries and along the open coast.
Other Common Names: Balloonfish
Family: Diodontidae
Genus: Dicotylichthys
Species: punctulatus
Dangerous: The flesh is reported to be poisonous but the spines are not toxic.