Spotfin Burrfish – Chilomycterus reticulatus

The Spotfin Burrfish, also known as Spotted Burrfish, Pacific Burrfish, Spotfin Porcupinefish, Few-Spined Porcupinefish and Lanternfish, is a species in the order of the Tetraodontiformes and thus belongs to the superclass of the bony fish.

Spotfin Burrfish - Chilomycterus reticulatus Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic
Spotfin Burrfish – Chilomycterus reticulatus


Chilomycterus reticulatus has a long, cylindrical body. Its big mouth, eyes and fins are striking.

Its basic colour is light brown with many black dots. Both his flippers, as well as his eyes are blue. Large, powerful spines are distributed all over his body.

The Spotfin Burrfish reaches a maximum size of 70cm.

Habitat and Distribution

During the day the Spotfin Burrfish is mostly found in caves, holes, columns or under stones. It occurs in depths down to 100m.

When diving in the Canaries, it is rarely seen on all islands.

It is also widely distributed in warm oceans and seas worldwide. In the north-east Atlantic it is found on the coast of Portugal, around the Azores and around Madeira. There are also sightings from the Mediterranean Sea.


Chilomycterus reticulatus lives solitary. It has a fixed area. During the day, it is mostly hidden, while at night it is looking for food on rocky reefs. Different crustaceans, echinoderms, snails and other invertebrates are on its menu.

In case of danger, the Spotfin Burrfish can inflate itself with water and is thus protected from most enemies by its upright spines.

They belong to the fish that fluoresce under blue light. Mainly their spines shimmer green.

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