Boxfish (Family: Ostraciidae) - Wiki
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[Photo] Yellow boxfish, Ostracion cubicus, Face detail, Taba, Red Sea. yellow boxfish taba egypt. Date 2007. Author Photo2222 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Photo2222
The boxfishes are a family, Ostraciidae, of squared, bony fish belonging to the order Tetraodontiformes, closely related to the pufferfishes and filefishes. They come in a variety of different colors, and are notable for the hexagonal or "honeycomb" patterns in their skin and skeletons. They swim in a rowing manner. Fish in the family are known variously as boxfishes, cofferfishes, cowfishes and trunkfishes.
Boxfishes occupy the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, generally at middle latitudes, although the common or buffalo trunkfish (Lactophrys trigonus) which lives mainly in Florida waters may be found as far north as Cape Cod. The cowfish variety Lactophrys quadricornis can grow to be 50 cm or less in size, but are generally smaller at higher latitudes.
The hexagonal plate-like scales of these fish are fused together into a solid, triangular, box-like carapace, from which the fins and tail protrude. Young boxfishes have a more rounded in shape and may exhibit bright colors. Because of their body scale structure, boxfishes are limited to slow movements.
In the aquarium
Boxfish generally are very personable fish yet are poorly suited for the home aquaria. They are not thought of as an ordinary aquarium tank mate, but are quickly gaining popularity. They do pose a hazard in the community tank however. They are capable of releasing a very powerful toxin which can kill other fish and in some cases, the boxfish itself. They generally only use it when threatened or dying, but can become disturbed easily with aggressive tank mates or overcrowded aquarium. Generally boxfish are not reef safe.
Genera and species
Acanthostracion guineensis (Bleeker, 1865).
Island cowfish, Acanthostracion notacanthus (Bleeker, 1863).
Honeycomb cowfish, Acanthostracion polygonius Poey, 1876.
Scrawled cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis (Linnaeus, 1758).
Spotted trunkfish, Lactophrys bicaudalis (Linnaeus, 1758).
Buffalo trunkfish, Lactophrys trigonus (Linnaeus, 1758).
Smooth trunkfish, Lactophrys triqueter (Linnaeus, 1758).
Longhorn cowfish, Lactoria cornuta (Linnaeus, 1758).
Roundbelly cowfish, Lactoria diaphana (Bloch & Schneider, 1801).
Thornback cowfish, Lactoria fornasini (Bianconi, 1846).
Lactoria paschae (Rendahl, 1921).
Yellow boxfish, Ostracion cubicus Linnaeus, 1758.
Bluetail trunkfish, Ostracion cyanurus R??ppell, 1828.
Ostracion immaculatus Temminck & Schlegel, 1850.
Whitespotted boxfish, Ostracion meleagris Shaw, 1796.
Shortnose boxfish, Ostracion nasus Bloch, 1785.
Horn-nosed boxfish, Ostracion rhinorhynchos Bleeker, 1852.
Reticulate boxfish, Ostracion solorensis Bleeker, 1853.
Roughskin trunkfish, Ostracion trachys Randall, 1975.
Whitley's box, Ostracion whitleyi Fowler, 1931.
Paracanthostracion lindsayi (Phillipps, 1932).
Triangular boxfish, Tetrosomus concatenatus (Bloch, 1785).
Humpback turretfish, Tetrosomus gibbosus (Linnaeus, 1758).
Smallspine turretfish, Tetrosomus reipublicae (Ogilby, 1913).
Tetrosomus stellifer (Bloch & Schneider, 1801).
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