Striped Burrfish

Chilomycterus schoepfi

Picture of a striped burrfish

Image by Cliff on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Physical: The striped burrfish is a species of pufferfish. It’s yellow-green in color, with dark wavy stripes and brown blotches around the body. The mouth is shaped like a V, and also has a fused beak instead of teeth. Unlike other pufferfish, striped burrfish cannot move or lower their spines. However, like other pufferfish they can quickly take in air or water to inflate their bodies, which deters predators. Adults grow to about 10 in (25.4 cm).

Habitat: Range from Nova Scotia to Florida, the Bahamas, northern Gulf of Mexico, and south to Brazil. Striped burrfish prefer seagrass beds in bays and lagoons, and can also be found on coastal reefs.

Feeding: Striped burrfish are nocturnal predators. While they do sometimes feed on algae, their main food sources are bivalves (oysters, mussels, clams), crustaceans (shrimp, krill, hermit crabs), eel larvae, and jellyfish. They can swallow prey whole and crush shells with their beaks.

Breeding: Not much is known about their breeding habits. Since they are nocturnal fish, it’s likely that they also spawn at night.

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