Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Globe Fish

Globe Fish, any species of the group Tetrodontina, of the Plectognathous family Gymnodontes, from tropical and sub-tropical seas. The short thick body is scaleless, but more or less covered with spines which become erect when these fish distend themselves with air into the globular form which gives them their popular name. Then they float back downwards, and are driven about by the wind, though we have Darwin's evidence that at least one species can use the pectoral fins for guiding its course. There are several genera, the best known being Tetrodon and Diodon. In both the jaws form a beak, with strong dental plates for breaking-down coral and crushing molluscs, on which they feed. In Tetrodon these plates are divided above and below, in Diodon they are entire. The flesh is unfit for food, and that of some species is poisonous, but its noxious qualities vary in different individuals and at different seasons.