Ostracion tuberculatus Linnaeus, 1758
The yellow boxfish (Ostracion cubicus) is a species of boxfish. It can be found in reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean as well as the south eastern Atlantic Ocean. It reaches a maximum length of 45 centimetres (18 in).
As the name suggests, it is box-shaped. When juvenile, it is bright yellow in color. As it ages, the brightness fades and very old specimens will have blue-grey coloration with faded yellow. It feeds mainly on algae, but will also feed on sponges, crustaceans and mollusks.
When stressed or injured it releases poisonous proteins from its skin that may prove lethal to any fish in the surrounding waters. The bright yellow color and black spots are a form of warning coloration (Aposematism) to any potential predators.
They are solitary animals. Breeding occurs during the spring, in small groups that consist of 1 male and 2 - 4 females.
- Lougher, Tristan (2006). What Fish?: A Buyer's Guide to Marine Fish. Interpet Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 0-7641-3256-3. "What does it eat? In the wild, mainly marine algae, worms, crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish."
- Kalmanzon, E., Zlotkin, E., & Aknin-Herrmann, R. (1999). Protein-Surfactant interactions in the defensive skin secretion of the Red Sea trunkfish Ostracion cubicus Marine Biology, 135 (1), 141-146 DOI: 10.1007/s002270050611
- * Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Ostracion cubicus" in FishBase. November 2006 version.
- Phenix, M. Mercedes' fish-inspired car. CNN Technology. March 15, 2007.