The Trunk Fish (Ostraciidae) Family
Trunk fish are clumsy bodied, slow swimmers, and can be found between rocks and seaweed surfaces in shallow water.Their bodies are relatively short, and wrapped in armor, giving them a square box-like shape, which is the reason for their name.Their armor is constructed from interconnected tablets which surround their entire body. They have a pointy head that culminates in a short beak with a mouth on the end, and their teeth, which are fused to a short base, are covered by their lips. They have soft skin at the base of their fins, and this enables their movement, which is slow. These types of fish do not have a uniform color; some are yellow with light spots, some are purple with black spots, and others are yellowish gray with light blue spots.Trunk fish have yellow fins, and range in length from 12-14 cm.The pattern of a young trunk fish is different to that of an adult; the younger fish have fewer, but larger, spots.When they are threatened, trunk fish secrete poisonous mucus all over the body. This mucus is produced in the intestines by bacteria, and is stored in the liver.Trunk fish feed on seaweed, mollusks and worms, which they remove from the rocks with their strong beaks.During the breeding season, some females gather in the male area, and lay their eggs.
The Thornback Trunk FishThis fish is a member of the trunk fish family; it lives near sandy seabed areas, or in areas covered with vegetation, up to a depth of 30 meters. It body is armor plated in a triangular shape, and it feeds on mollusks living close to the seabed. Distinctive markings: triangular shaped armored body with no abdominal fin.Its gill openings are small cracks under the eyes.