News / Species Spotlight / Slender-spined Globefish (Diodon nicthemerus) (06/22/17)

Slender-spined Globefish (Diodon nicthemerus)

Species Spotlight - Slender-spined Globefish (Diodon nicthemerus)
The porcupinefishes (AKA globefishes) are some of the most personable fishes on the planet. With their big, bulging eyes and open mouth, they seem to have a permanent smile upon their face. The joyous demeanor seems to be reflected in their frenetic swimming style. Once acclimated to aquarium life, these fishes are highly interactive and always pressed against the glass in search of food.

There are five species in the group, all classified in the genus Diodon. The most common in aquariums is D. holocanthus, a medium-sized, black-speckled beast found across the worlds tropical waters. Its larger cousin, growing to a meter long, is D. hystrix. Then theres D. eydouxi, a blue-tinted fellow which lives out in the open ocean (and is thus rarely seen in captivity). The Black-blotched Porcupinefish (D. liturosus) is attractively marked with large black blotches.

Finally, there is D. nicthemerus, the Slender-spined Globefish. It is seldom collected from its small natural range in Southern Australia. This is one of the smaller members of the genus, typically reaching around a foot in length, though it is reported up to 15 inches. It lacks the black speckles found in some of its cousins, and has only a few faint dark markings along the sides. The spines are usually a cheery yellow color, giving this fish a particularly vibrant appearance.

Like its congeners, this species is mostly nocturnal. It comes out at night to feed on the various crustaceans that scurry about under the cover of darkness. Large groups are sometimes seen in the wild. But its generally best to keep a single specimen in captivity, as pufferfishes tend not to enjoy their own company in the tight confines of an aquarium. Another important consideration is temperature. This species is native to fairly cool waters, typically below 70 Fahrenheit. While a chiller might not be required, excessively warm conditions are likely to create issues long-term

The Slender-spined Globefish is definitely a rare and exciting option for any aquarist looking to recreate a South Australian biotope, or for those who enjoy just unusual and uncommon species.