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Marine Animal 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.

Spotted Boxfishzoom image
  • Order Tetradontiformes
  • Length Up to 10 in (25 cm)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth 3–100 ft (1–30 m)
  • Distribution Tropical reefs in Indian Ocean and South pacific, possibly extending to Mexico
Spotted Boxfish Habitat Mapzoom image