Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Circumtropical range. In Australia recorded from Western Australia, across the tropical north, through Queensland and south to southern New South Wales.
Frequents shallow reefs to open, soft bottoms, also areas of rocky substrate. Depth to at least 100 m.
Pale body with long needle like spines, numerous small dark spots and a few darker blotches. A relatively poor swimmer, it has the ability to inflate itself with water causing spines to become erect, if threatened. Reputedly poisonous to eat. Feeds on molluscs, sea urchins, hermit crabs and other invertebrates. Often relies on camouflage by secreting itself on the substrate. Grows to 50 cm but commonly smaller.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.465.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Diodon-holocanthus.html. Accessed 24/05/18.