Ostracion cubicus Linnaeus, 1758, India.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Poisson cube; German: Gelbbrauner Kofferfisch; Afrikaans: Koffertije; Japanese: Minami-hakofugu.
Boxlike body with bony plates, a steeply sloping forehead, a subterminal mouth, a thick caudal peduncle, and a relatively large, somewhat rounded caudal fin. The dorsal and anal fins are positioned well back, just forward of the caudal peduncle. Body color of adults is a dirty yellow with a blueish hue and yellow seams between the body’s bony plates. Juveniles are an attractive bright yellow with small black spots. There are eight or nine soft rays in the dorsal fin, nine soft rays in the anal fin, and 10 caudal fin rays. Total length up to 11 in (28 cm).
Tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific and southeastern Atlantic, from East Africa and the Red Sea east to the Hawaiian Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago in Polynesia, north to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, south to Australia and Lord Howe Island, and off southern Africa in the Atlantic.
Primarily coral reefs in lagoons, on reef flats, and on protected seaward reefs. Juveniles associate with Acropora corals. Depth range is 3.3–148 ft (1–45 m).
Adults are solitary and territorial. Juveniles also are solitary after settlement. Secretes ostracitoxin as a defensive mechanism when attacked or disturbed.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Omnivorous. Feeds upon benthic algae, various microorganisms, and foraminiferans that it strains from sediments, sponges, polychaete worms from sand flats, mollusks, small crustaceans, and small fishes. Large larvae and post-larvae often taken by pelagic predators, such as tunas.
Paired courtship just before or after sunset. Eggs and larvae are pelagic.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Collected for the aquarium trade but, due to its ability to secrete ostracitoxin, usually is a poor choice for a community aquarium.
Copyright © 2016-2017 Animalia Life | All rights reserved