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Genus: Acanthostracion, Cowfish Boxfixh, Cowfishes

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

spines before eyes
box closed around D & A
lower rear corner box: + spine



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; 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.

A trans-Atlantic genus with 4 species; 1 trans-Atlantic and 1 W Atlantic species in our area.