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| Common names: cowfish (English), boxfish (English), cofre (Espanol), Torito (Espanol) |
Lactoria diaphana (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Spiny boxfish, Round-bellied cowfish
Body oblong, thick, enclosed in a bony box formed by thickened, joined, enlarged, hexagonal scale plates; carapace pentangular: belly round and wide; box with 5 longitudinal ridges: 1 (weak) along top of back, a pair on upper back, a pair on lower flank; box with 5 spines: a small spine in mid-back, 1 spine before each eye, a large spine at rear end of each lower ridge; box with openings for mouth, eyes, gill slits and fins and tail base; mouth small, opens at front, lips fleshy; teeth moderate, conical, usually < 15 per jaw; gill openings are short, oblique slits in front of pectoral bases; no spiny dorsal, soft dorsal and anal fins at rear of carapace; no pelvic fins; dorsal 9, anal 9, pectoral 10-11; tail base slender, flexible; tail fin 8 branched rays, a fan with a rounded end; lateral line inconspicuous.
Grey to pale brown, with indistinct dark blotches.
Size: 34 cm.
Habitat: adults benthic on rocky reefs; juveniles pelagic, sometimes enter estuaries.
Depth: 0-50 m.
Oceanic juveniles occur between California to the western Gulf of California to Chile and around the northern offshore islands.