Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Ostraciidae
Etymology: Acanthostracion: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, ostrakon = shell (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
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
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)
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).
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.
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).
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. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30303)
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.04074 (0.02370 - 0.07002), b=2.70 (2.54 - 2.86), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)family-body shape (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) .