| Ecological Descriptors
|Co, R, S
||Mol, Cru, Ech, Tun, Veg
Body with a triangular, bony box of armour. Whitish in color, with numerous black dots on the body, tail base and tail fin. White around the mouth. Two sharp spines in front of the anal fin, no spines above the eye. Large adults with 2 - 3 light spots in a diagonal row anteriorly on the body at the level of the eye.
Juvenile: Orange-white, with sparse round black spots.
Found in clear water around coral/rocky reefs and seagrass beds, sometimes under ledges and near small holes, from 3 to 50m (10-160ft). It feeds on a variety of small bottom invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans, starfishes, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sessile tunicates, and sea grasses, algae, crabs and brittle stars. It releases toxins when excited that kill other fishes. Their means of locomotion is very characteristic - when at ease they swim by using only the dorsal, pectoral and anal fins. The tail fin is only used when high speed is required.
Their body consists of a bony carapace which prevents flexion. Due to this rigid body, members of this family propel themselves primarily using dorsal and anal fins (plus pectoral) , a characteristic appearance termed as 'ostraciform' swimming. However, they can use the caudal fin fpr bursts of speed if necessary.
Little known about the offspring of the spotted trunkfish. Pelagic eggs and larvae.
(C) Micky Charters