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Creature Feature: Spotted Trunkfish

a close up of a fish

Spotted trunkfish are among the stranger looking fish you will encounter!  They are polka dotted with black spots, have protruding eyes and snouts, and are poor swimmers due to their bulky and ridged shape.  They certainly stick out due to their unique, slow rate of swimming and shape.  Here are 5 interesting facts about the awesome spotted trunkfish.

1. Divers don’t touch me! Spotted trunkfish are poisonous. They  secrete a poisonous, colorless toxin when touched.  This spotted trunkfish poison is capable of killing larger fish and can kill aa close up of a fish nurse shark, who is a predator of the spotted trunkfish. All fish in the Ostraciidae family are toxic.  They are not safe to consume by humans!

2.  Spotted trunkfish are shy but curious fish that swim slowly above reefs. Trunkfish are protected by a bony outer surface that acts as body armor and includes two sharp spines guarding their rear fins. The rigid outer structure helps protect spotted trunkfish from predators.

3.  They are omnivorous and consume small invertebrates, crustaceans, mollusks, sea urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers, seagrasses, algae, and crabs.

4.  At maturity they average 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) in length and live anywhere from 6 to 12 years.

5.  Other common names include the cowfish and honeycomb cowfish