Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
Spotted Boxfish Ostracion meleagris
Instead of a covering of scales, all boxfish are protected by a rigid box of fused bony plates under the skin. This means they cannot bend their body and must swim by beating their pectoral fins. A large tail gives some propulsion and is also used to help steer them like a rudder. Male spotted boxfish are more colorful than the females, which are brown with light spots. These fish secrete a poisonous slime from their skin that protects them from predators.