Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Lactophrys triqueter, Smooth trunkfish

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no spines before eyes or lower corner box
box closed around D
juv: black + large white spots
dark + dense small white spots
lips blackish

Lactophrys triqueter (Linnaeus, 1758)

Smooth trunkfish

Body oblong, with an obvious hump on back, thick, enclosed in a bony box or carapace 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 both anal and dorsal fins, without spines before eyes, without a pair of spines at lower rear corner, last plates above and below tail base not prolonged as 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; 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.

Blackish brown; numerous white, cream or yellow spots; an area on flank with a pale honey-comb pattern; lips and fin bases blackish. Juvenile: black, with white spots.

Reaches 30 cm.

Lives on  reefs.

Depth range 2-79 m.

Massachusetts to Brazil.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Sessile worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Data
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Extends South of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • All species..
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 79