Acanthostracion quadricornis  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Scrawled cowfish
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Acanthostracion quadricornis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Acanthostracion quadricornis (Scrawled cowfish)
Acanthostracion quadricornis
Picture by Pialek, L.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes (Puffers and filefishes) > Ostraciidae (Boxfishes)
Etymology: Acanthostracion: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, ostrakon = shell (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 80 m (Ref. 26938), usually 10 - 30 m (Ref. 40849).   Subtropical; 43°N - 37°S, 98°W - 26°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Atlantic Ocean: in tropical and temperate waters (Ref. 3696). Western Atlantic: Massachusetts (USA), Bermuda, and northern Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Brazil. Reported from tip of South Africa.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 22.2, range 17 - ? cm
Max length : 55.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6937); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3696)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 10. Dark markings on head and body; parallel bands on cheek. Pair of prominent spines projecting from in front of eyes suggests cow horns. Second pair of spines at lower rear corners of cuirass (Ref. 26938). Body deep, covered with hexagonal dermal plates (Ref. 37521).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in shallow water down to about 80 m, mainly in seagrass beds (Ref. 3696). Feeds on sessile invertebrates such as tunicates, gorgonians and anemones, as well as on slow-moving crustaceans, sponges (Ref. 3696), hermit crabs and marine plants (Ref. 13442). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Considered an excellent food fish; marketed fresh (Ref. 3696).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Matsuura, Keiichi | Collaborators

Smith, M.M., 1986. Ostraciidae. p. 890-893. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3141)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5625   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.04074 (0.02381 - 0.06970), b=2.70 (2.54 - 2.86), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.7   ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Fec = 112,536).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (32 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   High.