“Yellow boxfish (Ostracion cubicus)
The yellow boxfish can be found in tropical and temperate regions throughout the Indo-Pacific oceans, usually associated with lagoons, and coral/rocky reefs from depths of 1m to 40m deep. These fish are boxed shaped, and grow to 45cm in length. As juveniles, they are bright yellow with bluish black spots over their body, but as they mature the yellow fades to a duller yellow (almost brown) colouration.
The yellow boxfish feeds on algae and a variety of marine invertebrates, including sponges, polychaete worms, molluscs and crustaceans. These fish produce a toxin in their skin called ostracitoxin, which acts as a deterrent to predators. Due to this, these fish should never be eaten. When stressed or sick, these fish may also release this toxin into the water, and when kept in aquariums, they have been known to kill all the other fish in the same aquarium after releasing this toxin. These two photos were taken beneath the Tangalooma jetty, and are of mature individuals.”
Eco Ranger Pat