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Ostraciidae
BOXFISHES
Cowfishes

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Ostracion meleagris meleagris
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Ostracion meleagris meleagris
Lactoria
© Copyright John Rangall, 2006 · 0
Lactoria

Lactoria diaphana
© Copyright John Rangall, 2006 · 0
Lactoria diaphana
Ostraciidae
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Ostraciidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • body = rigid box
  • small fins
  • 1 d
  • no pelvics
FAMILY OSTRACIIDAE

BOXFISHES, COWFISHES

Boxfishes are easily recognized by their rigid external armour composed of sutured bony plates. Their fins are much reduced and they are usually slow swimmers, but capable of short rapid bursts. They also have no pelvic fins and fins without spines.

When feeding, boxfishes sometimes squirt a jet of water into the sand to uncover small plants and invertebrates. The diet includes tunicates, sponges, soft corals, crustaceans, worms, and algae. Boxfishes have a harem social structure with 3-4 females per male. Spawning occurs in pairs after dusk. Pelagic eggs are released and fertilized after the pair rises well off the bottom and hover in place for several seconds. Boxfishes produce a toxic slime that can kill other fishes or themselves in a confined space such as an aquarium.

About 33 species and 14 genera of boxfishes are known worldwide. Two wide ranging Indo-Pacific species are encountered in our area, including one on reefs and another that appears here as pelagic young, usually out at sea.


References
  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1994., Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific., Crawford House Press Pty Ltd:1-332.
  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1997., An Annotated Checklist of the fishes of Clipperton Atoll, Tropical Eastern Pacific., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 45:813-843.
  • Bloch , M. E. and Schneider, J. G., 1801., M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae iconibus cx illustratum. Post obitum auctoris opus inchoatum absolvit, correxit, interpolavit Jo. Gottlob Schneider, Saxo. Berolini. Sumtibus Austoris Impressum et Bibliopolio Sanderiano Commissum., Systema Ichthyol., :1-584.
  • Castro-Aguirre , J. L. , Balart , E. F. and Arvizu-Martínez, J., 1995., Contribución al conocimiento del origen y distribución de la ictiofauna del Golfo de California, México., Hidrobiologica, 5:57-78.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Edgar, G.J. Banks, S., Fariña, J.M., Calvopiña, M. and Martínez, C., 2004., Regional biogeography of shallow reef fish and macro-invertebrate communities in the Galapagos archipelago., Journal of Biogeography, 31:1107-1124.
  • Elorduy Garay , J. F. and Jiménez Gutiérrez, S. V., 2000., Metodologías para el estudio de los peces de arrecife. En Aburto Oropeza, O. y C. A. Sánchez Ortiz (Eds.). Recursos arrecifales del Golfo de California, estrategias de manejo para las especies marinas de ornato., Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur:72-82.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., Pérez-España, H., Chávez-Ramos, H., 1996., Systematics list of the fishes from Cerralvo island, Baja California Sur, Mexico., Ciencias Marinas, 22:295-311.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., 2000., The distribution and affinities of the shore fishes of the Baja California Sur lagoons. In Aquatic Ecosystems of Mexico: Status and Scope. Eds. M. Manuwar, S.G. Lawrence, I.F. Manuwar & D.F. Malley. Ecovision World Monograph Series., Backhuys Publishers:383-398.
  • Garrison, G., 2000., Peces de la Isla del Coco., Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad:393.
  • Grove , J.S. and Lavenberg, R. J., 1997., The fishes of the Galápagos islands., Stanford University Press:863 pp.
  • Humann, P., 1993., Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos., New World Publishing:192pp.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Klassen, G. J., 1995., Phylogeny and biogeography of the ostraciinae (Tetraodontiformes: Ostraciidae)., Bull. Mar. Sci., 57:393-441.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Madrid Vera , J. , Ruíz Luna , A. and Rosado Bravo, I., 1998., Peces de la plataforma continental de Michoacán y sus relaciones regionales en el Pacífico mexicano., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 42(2):267-276.
  • Nelson, J.S., 1984., Fishes of the World (Third edition)., John Wiley and Sons:523pp.
  • Ricker, K.E., 1959., Mexican shore and pelagic fishes collected from Acapulco to Cape San Lucas during the 1957 cruise of the "Marijean"., Univ. Brit. Columbia Inst. Fish., Mus. Contrib., 3:18pp.
  • Robertson , D.R. and Allen, G.A., 1996., Zoogeography of the shorefish fauna of Clipperton Atoll., Coral Reefs, 15:121-131.
  • Rosenblatt , R.H. , McCosker , J.E. and Rubinoff, I., 1972., Indo-west Pacific fishes from the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama., Contrib. Sci. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co., 234:18pp.
  • Rubio , E.E. , Gutierrez , B. and Frank, R., 1987., Pesces de la Isla Gorgona., Centro de Publicaciones de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia., (1-315):1-315.
  • Shaw , G. and Nodder, F. P., 1813., The Naturalist's Miscellany, or coloured figures of natural objects; drawn and described from nature. London., Naturalist's Misc., :unnumbered pages.
  • Smith , M. M. and Heemstra, P., 1986., Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa. 1047 pp., Macmillan South Africa:1047pp.
  • Thomson , D.A. , Findley , L.T. and Kerstitch, A.N., 2000., Reef fishes of the Sea of Cortez., University of Texas Press(Revised Ed.):353.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.
  • Villareal-Cavazos, A., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Bermúdez-Almada, B. and Arizpe-Covarrubias, O., 2000., Los peces del arrecife de Cabo Pulmo, Golfo de California, México: Lista sistemática y aspectos de abundancia y biogeografía., Rev. Biol. Trop., 48:413-424.
  • Walker, B. W. and Baldwin, W. J., 1964., Provisional check list of fishes of the Revillagigedo islands., 18 pp.

Acknowledgements

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