boxfish, Ostracion cubicus [33K]

This is a common variety of boxfish, closely related to the cowfish in gallery III and pufferfish in gallery III.  As with the cowfish, this fish uses its mouth to blow tiny jets of water into the muddy or sandy bottom, stirring the small invertebrates composing its omnivore diet. This one is about one and a half inches in length. The adult appears more elongated and looks much different in color scheme, with larger fins and a thicker caudal fin base in proportion to the body. This species is found in the Indo-Pacific and along the southeastern coast of Africa-- for more specifics see the link below under "related links".

Though pleasant to view and very playful fish, boxfish are not edible and do not make easy salt-water aquarium pets. If one kept as a pet should die, or even if is severely stressed, it will release toxins into the water which could quickly wipe out the entire tank population.

Ostracion cubicus

related links: 

yellow boxfish [121K]
another view, yellow boxfish

sub-adult boxfish link
sub-adult O. cubicus [74K]

Spotted boxfish link [69k]
another boxfish

back to gallery III