Lactoria cornuta Linnaeus, 1758, India.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Coffre cornu; German: Langhorn-Kofferfisch; Afrikaans: Langhoring-koeivis; Japanese: Kфngo-fugu.
Boxlike body, with two long “horns” projecting forward from the top of the head just in front of the eyes. The mouth is subterminal with prominent lips. The dorsal fin is relatively small and arises just forward of the caudal peduncle. The caudal fin is rounded. There are eight or nine soft rays in the dorsal fin, eight to nine soft rays in the anal fin, and nine to 10 rays in the caudal fin. Body color ranges from green and olive to light orange with blue spots and is cryptic. Grows to at least 18.1 in (46 cm) in total length.
Indo-Pacific in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters from East Africa and the Red Sea east to the Tuamotu Archipelago and the Marquesas in eastern Polynesia, north to southern Japan and southern Korea, and south to Australia and Lord Howe Island.
Coral and rocky reefs, especially in algae beds or sea grasses. Juveniles enter brackish waters of estuaries. Depth range is 3.3–328 ft (1–100 m).
Adults usually are solitary and territorial, but the juveniles form small groups.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Forages for benthic vertebrates by blowing water into the sand to dislodge them.
The mating system consists of a single male with a small group of females within its territory. Practices elaborate courtship just before or after sunset. Courtship is paired and results in the release of pelagic eggs well up into the water column above the bottom. The larvae are pelagic.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
An interesting aquarium species but one that should be kept alone or with species with which it is not likely to interact. Also taken as a minor subsistence species that may cause ciguatera poisoning. Most are probably dried and sold as ornaments.
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