Body inflatable, with large head and rounded snout. Two large teeth in each jaw form a beak-like dental plate with an entire even cutting edge. Gill openings just in front of the pectoral fins. Big eyes, with a flat interorbital space. Scales absent and skin completely smooth, without spines and bony plates. One lateral line. Fins with rays soft, segmented and branched. Dorsal fin single, placed behind midpoint and opposite the similar-shaped anal fin. Pelvic fin absent and caudal fin truncated or slightly concave.
greyish brown on dorsal and whitish pale grey on its inflatable belly. Axil of pectoral fins black, base of dorsal fin dark. Caudal fin dark, especially on fin membrane and on upper and lower edges.
common 10-35 cm (45.5 cm).
Ephippion guttiferum: two lateral lines and bony plates on back in adults.
Lagocephalus spp.: two lateral lines; presence of spinules on body.
Diodon hystrix: long spines on skin.
Chilomycterus spilostylus: three-rooted spines fixed in erect position.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Sexual differences in allometric growth, females reaching larger size than males. Oviparous species with wide spawning period. In the Mediterranean, ripe specimens have been observed between April and October, with a peak in July-September.
benthic species, on muddy, sandy and rocky bottoms, usually between 50 and 250 m, up to 400 m depth.