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Genus: Lactoria, Cowfishes


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body: rigid box with 5 ridges
horns: eyes, midback, rear belly

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LACTORIA

COWFISHES

Body oblong, thick, enclosed in a bony box formed by thickened, joined, enlarged, hexagonal scale plates; box pentangular: belly round and wide; box with 5 longitudinal ridges: 1 (weak) along top of back, a pair on upper back, a pair on lower flank; 1 spine before each eye, a large spine at rear end of each lower ridge, sometimes a small spine in mid-back; box with openings for mouth, eyes, gill slits and fins and tail base; mouth small, opens at front, lips fleshy; teeth moderate, conical, usually < 15 per jaw; gill openings are 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 8 branched rays, a fan with a rounded end; lateral line inconspicuous.

A tropical Indo-Pacific genus with 4 species; one Indo-Pacific species in our region.