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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabit lagoon and semi-sheltered seaward reefs. Juveniles often among Acropora corals (Ref. 9710). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Solitary (Ref. 5503). Juveniles expatriating to subtropical zone from the pelagic larval stage. Small juveniles secretive in narrow crevices (Ref. 48637). Feed primarily on algae with a compliment of microorganisms, invertebrates, mollusks, sponges (Ref. 5503), sand dwelling polychaetes, crustaceans, foraminiferans, and fishes (Ref. 37816).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Distribution

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 3141) to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto islands, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to Lord Howe Island. The Red Sea population differs slightly in coloration and has been known as Ostracion argus; closely related to Ostracion immaculatus from southern Japan. Southeast Atlantic: south coast of South Africa (Ref. 3141).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific: East Africa, South Africa, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mascarenes east to Tuamotu Archipelago, north to Ryukyu Islands and Ogasawara Islands, south to New Caledonia, northern New Zealand, Lord Howe Island and Rapa, straying to H
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8 - 9; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 9
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Size

Maximum size: 450 mm TL
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Max. size

45.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9806))
  • Matsuura, K. 2001 Ostraciidae. Boxfishes. p. 3948-3951. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9806)
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Diagnostic Description

Caudal fin rays 10. Juveniles bright yellow with black spots; the spots decrease proportionately and the bright yellow becomes a dirty mustard with growth; large adults become bluish with yellowish seams between the plates.Description: Characterized further by adults having numerous black spots on fins; juvenile with scattered black spots on head and body; carapace quadrangular in cross section, concave sides, broader at base than dorsally; more or less straight dorsal profile of snout, presence of bony protuberance above upper lip (absent in juvenile); rounded caudal fin (Ref. 90102).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Description

Inhabits lagoon and semi-sheltered seaward reefs. Solitary. Feeds primarily on algae with a compliment of microorganisms, invertebrates, molluscs and sponges (Ref. 5503).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 280 m (Ref. 50734), usually 1 - 50 m (Ref. 9806)
  • Matsuura, K. 2001 Ostraciidae. Boxfishes. p. 3948-3951. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9806)
  • Richer De Forges, B. 2001 Electronic database of ORSTOM sampling on the Norfolk Ridge. ORSTOM. (Ref. 50734)
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Depth range based on 74 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 49 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.61 - 260
  Temperature range (°C): 17.969 - 29.336
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.094 - 5.251
  Salinity (PPS): 32.279 - 36.148
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.107 - 5.079
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.100 - 0.505
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.089 - 5.767

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.61 - 260

Temperature range (°C): 17.969 - 29.336

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.094 - 5.251

Salinity (PPS): 32.279 - 36.148

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.107 - 5.079

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.100 - 0.505

Silicate (umol/l): 1.089 - 5.767
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 1 - 50m.
From 1 to 50 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Inhabits lagoon and semi-sheltered seaward reefs. Juveniles often among @Acropora@ corals (Ref. 9710). Solitary. Feeds primarily on algae with a compliment of microorganisms, invertebrates, molluscs and sponges (Ref. 5503).
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits lagoon and semi-sheltered seaward reefs. Juveniles often among Acropora corals (Ref. 9710). Solitary (Ref. 5503). Juveniles expatriating to subtropical zone from the pelagic larval stage. Small juveniles secretive in narrow crevices (Ref. 48637). Feeds primarily on algae with a compliment of microorganisms, invertebrates, mollusks, sponges (Ref. 1602, 5503), sand dwelling polychaetes, crustaceans, foraminiferans, and fishes (Ref. 37816). Juveniles prefer the shelter of corals or rocks; adults range further out in the open and seem to prefer the shelter of ledges and crevices near sand.
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Occurs in harems consisting of single males and 2-4 females (Ref. 37175).
  • Moyer, J.T. 1979 Mating strategies and reproductive behavior of ostraciid fishes at Miyake-jima, Japan. Jap. J. Ichthyol. 26(2):148-160. (Ref. 37175)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Ostracion cubicus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 14 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGTTGATTCTTCTCGACCAATCACAAAGATATCGGCACCCTTTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCCGGTATAGTGGGAACGGCCCTA---AGCCTACTTATCCGAGCAGAACTAAGCCAACCAGGCGCTCTTCTTGGGGAT---GATCAGATTTATAATGTAATCGTAACAGCACATGCATTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCAATTATAATTGGAGGTTTTGGAAACTGATTAGTACCTCTAATA---ATTGGAGCTCCTGATATAGCATTTCCCCGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGGCTTCTTCCTCCCTCCTTCCTCCTCCTCCTGGCCTCTTCAGGGGTTGAGGCAGGAGCTGGAACTGGGTGAACAGTCTATCCCCCCTTAGCAGGCAACCTGGCACATGCAGGGGCATCTGTAGATCTA---ACCATCTTTTCCCTCCATCTGGCAGGGGTTTCCTCAATTTTAGGGGCTATTAATTTTATTACCACAATTATTAACATAAAACCCCCAGCTATCTCCCAATATCAAACCCCTCTATTTGTGTGGGCAGTTCTGATTACCGCTGTCCTCCTCCTTCTATCACTGCCAGTTCTTGCTGCT---GGTATTACAATACTTCTAACAGACCGAAACCTAAACACCACATTCTTTGACCCAGCAGGAGGAGGGGACCCAATCCTTTATCAACACTTATTCTGATTCTTCGGTCATCCTGAAGTCTACATCCTCATCCTTCCGGGCTTTGGAATAATTTCCCACATTGTTGCTTACTACTCAGGAAAAAAA---GAACCATTTGGGTATATGGGCATGGTCTGGGCAATAATAGCCATTGGACTCCTAGGTTTTATTGTCTGAGCCCATCATATATTTACAGTAGGTATGGATGTAGATACACGAGCTTATTTTACATCTGCTACAATGATTATCGCGATTCCAACCGGAGTAAAAGTTTTCAGCTGACTA---GCAACTCTTCACGGCGGG---TCCATTAAATGAGAAACACCCCTTTTATGAGCCCTAGGTTTTATTTTCCTATTCACAGTAGGAGGGCTAACAGGAATCGTCCTAGCAAACTCATCCTTAGATATTGTCCTCCATGATACGTATTACGTAGTAGCTCACTTCCATTATGTT---CTGTCTATAGGAGCCGTGTTTGCCATCATGGGGGCTTTCGTTCATTGATTCCCACTGTTCTCAGGTTATACGCTACACAGTACCTGAACAAAAATCCACTTTGGAGTAATATTTGTAGGTGTCAATCTAACATTCTTCCCACAACATTTCCTTGGCCTTGCTGGGATACCTCGC---CGATACTCTGACTACCCAGATGCCTATACC---CTATGAAATACGGTCTCCTCTATTGGCTCCTTAATCTCCCTTGTTGCCGTAATTATATTCTTATTCATCATTTGAGAAGCATTTGCCGCTAAACGAGAAGTA---CTCTCAGTAGAACTAACCATAACCAAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ostracion cubicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 18
Specimens with Barcodes: 26
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Ocean Genome Legacy
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: high; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
  • Edwards, A.J. and A.D. Shepherd 1992 Environmental implications of aquarium-fish collection in the Maldives, with proposals for regulation. Environ. Conserv. 19:61-72. (Ref. 4907)
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Wikipedia

Yellow boxfish

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.

The fish's diet consists of marine algae, worms, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.[1]

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.[2]

They are solitary animals. Breeding occurs during the spring, in small groups that consist of 1 male and 2 - 4 females.[3]

In 2006, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its Bionic concept car, which was inspired by the shape of the yellow boxfish.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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." 
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ * Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Ostracion cubicus" in FishBase. November 2006 version.
  4. ^ Phenix, M. Mercedes' fish-inspired car. CNN Technology. March 15, 2007.
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