The striped burrfish is found in shallow water over seagrass beds and reefs, all along the Eastern Seaboard. This area includes the eastern US from Maine to Florida.
  • Size

    11 inches (28 cm)
  • Diet

    Small marine invertebrates
  • Range

    Western Atlantic
  • Habitat

    Seagrass beds and reef environments in coastal waters

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is light tan to yellowish brown with many darker, wavy stripes running up and down along the back and sides. Some individuals also have large dark spots behind the dorsal and pectoral fins. Body is covered in short, sharp spines.
  • Maximum length of about 11 inches (28 cm).

Animal Fact

The striped burrfish can inflate its body into a spike-covered ball.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists primarily of small marine invertebrates, but will occasionally graze on algae.
  • Feeds by using its beak to crush its prey. May consume prey whole.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from Nova Scotia and Maine to the Bahamas and northern Gulf of Mexico south to Brazil. Uncommon in most of the West Indies.
  • Found in seagrass beds and reef environments in coastal waters at depths to 36 feet (11 m).

Reproduction & Growth

  • Oviparous, or egg laying species. Believed to spawn at night.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Able to take in water to greatly inflate body into a spike-covered ball as a defense against predators.


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