Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Acanthostracion polygonius, Honeycomb cowfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

spines before eyes
body: dark hexagons + pale separating lines
juv: yellow/ orange + black spots
cheek -reticulating dark lines

Acanthostracion polygonius Poey, 1876

Honeycomb cowfish

Body oblong, thick, enclosed in a bony box formed by thickened, joined, enlarged scale plates that are usually hexagonal in shape; carapace has openings for mouth, eyes, gill slits and fins and tail, completely surrounds bases of dorsal and anal fins, has large spines projecting forward above eyes,  and at lower rear corner; rear plates above and below tail base expanded as short spines; mouth small, at front, lips fleshy; teeth moderate, conical, usually <15 per jaw; gill openings short, oblique slits in front of pectoral bases; no spiny dorsal, soft dorsal and anal fins at rear of carapace; pectoral rays 12, rarely 11; no pelvic fins;  tail base slender, flexible, tail fin a fan with a rounded end; dorsal, anal and pectoral fin rays branched; lateral line inconspicuous.

Olivaceus; a network of dark hexagons formed by carapace scales outlined in pale lines; a network of dark lines on cheek; juvenile yellow to orange, with black spots.

Reaches 50 cm.

Lives mainly on coral reefs & soft coral habitats; also in estuaries.

Depth range: 2-80 m.

New Jersey to Brazil.

    


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Salinity
  • Marine
  • Brackish
Inshore/Offshore
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
Habitat
  • Reef only
  • Estuary
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Corallivore
  • Data
Diet
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
Residency
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
CITES
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 80