- The Boxfish represents the generic name for any one of the 24 known types of rather distinctive bony fish in the family Tetraodontiformes.
- The species remains closely related to the pufferfishes and filefishes. Its most discernible characteristic is the shape of its body which serves as the basis for their name.
- Every species known to scientists present a wide variety of colors as well. Further, their bodies have a covering of thick, hexagonal shaped overlapping scales.
- Though most of the known species of Boxfish appear to be slow-moving, the strength of the scales makes the adults safe from most predators.
Boxfish Physical Description
Given that the term Boxfish applies to numerous species within a single family, physical appearance varies widely between species.
Colors vary significantly between species and often do so even among individuals of the same species. This can sometimes make identifying a particular species difficult.
However, some physical characteristics remain true to all members of the family. Chief among those remains the tendency to possess a box-like shape to the body.
The largest of the species sometimes attains a length of as much as 20 in (50 cm). Most varieties stay much smaller, however.
Boxfish Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The various forms of Boxfish live across vast sections of three oceans. These include the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.
Further, the various types most commonly inhabit the mid-latitude regions.
Its primary means of defense consists of the strong, thick scales covering its body. However, this is not its only defense.
In addition to its strong protective scales, many species of this animal can secrete a chemical substance directly into the surrounding water, through the skin.
This chemical defense creates an irritation to any other fish in the immediate vicinity.