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/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

The Puffers Called Box-, Cowfishes, family Ostraciidae, part 3

To: part 1, part 2, part4

 

by Bob Fenner

 

The Genus Ostracion: The Spotted Cube, Ostracion cubicus is a perennial favorite, especially as a bright yellow with black spots juvenile. It is a large fish in the wild, attaining some eighteen inches. On a smaller scale, the Black (female) and Blue (male) Spotted Boxfish, Ostracion meleagris is often seen as well.

About "Boston Beans": these are juveniles of various species of cowfishes and boxes, not a specific designation; they grow up to look like the adults of whatever species they are.

Ostracion cubicus Linnaeus 1758, the Yellow Boxfish. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, east African coast around South Africa into the Atlantic. To eighteen inches long in the wild. At right: a juvenile in Fiji, Below: a sub-adult in captivity, an adult in the Cooks, and a aged individual in the Red Sea of about a foot in length. At the bottom an adult of color in Mabul, Malaysia.

 
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Ostracion cyanurus (Ruppell 1828), the Bluetail Trunkfish. Western Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Africa's eastern coast. Here's a beautiful male in Egypt's Sharm in the Red Sea.

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Ostracion immaculatus, Temminck & Schlegel 1850. Northwestern Pacific: Japan. Closely related to Ostracion cubicus of the Indo-Pacific.

No pic

Ostracion meleagris Shaw 1796, the Blue (male), Black (female) or Whitespotted Boxfish. Vying with the common Cowfish, Lactoria cornuta, for most commonly offered species in the family. Like other (demersal) Boxfish species, this one needs to be well fed... on the tank bottom, not the surface or mid-water. Take care with aggressive feeding tankmates. At right, a male in the Galapagos. Below: A female and male in captivity, Hawai'i, and a set in N. Sulawesi.

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Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)

Ostracion nasus (Bloch 1785), the Shortnose Boxfish. Western Pacific. To twelve inches.

No pic

Ostracion rhinorhynchos Bleeker 1852, the Horn-nosed Boxfish. Indo-west Pacific. To fourteen inches in length.

No pic

To: part 1, part 2, part4

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