Boxfish / Trunkfish (Ostraciidae)

Boxfish And Trunkfish Family Characteristics:

Boxfish have a rigid body made up of bony plates covered with a sensitive skin that can be easily damaged. The only flexible part is the caudal peduncle, where the most obvious growth occurs. The pelvic fins are missing, although bony stumps may appear at the corners of the body box in some species. Boxfish are very slow moving, some have been designated 'hovercraft fishes' by imaginative authors - and they do indeed have a similar form of locomotion, making rapid movements of the dorsal, anal and pectoral fins to good effect. When buying a Boxfish, avoid any with concave looking sides, as these fish almost never recover from this state.

Most Boxfish are poisonous, releasing a poison into the water when threatened. In the confines of the aquarium this often proves fatal both to the Boxfish and to other fish. Some authorities advocate introducing these fish into the aquarium in advance of other fish to reduce the chances of fatal consequences should the boxfish become frightened.

Diet And Feeding:

Boxfish will eat almost anything, but appear to particularly enticed with live foods.

Aquarium Behavior:

Boxfish often seem to resent the attentions of Cleaner fish or other inquisitive fish perhaps attracted by there slow and unusual swimming actions.

List Of Popular Aquarium Boxfish:

  • Cowfish (Lactoria cornuta)
  • Spotted Boxfish, Pacific Boxfish (Ostracion meleagris)
  • Blue Spotted Boxfish (Ostracion tuberculatum)
  • Hovercraft Boxfish (Tetrosomus gibbosus)
  • Cubicus Boxfish (Ostracion cubicus)


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