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Smooth Trunkfish, Rhinesomus triqueter

The smooth trunkfish fish is found in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and western Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Brazil residing on coral reefs and sandy ocean floors. Occasionally found in schools but for the most part it prefers to be alone.

The smooth trunkfish has a triangular shaped body having a flat belly and a very narrow back, pointed snout, and a small mouth. The black eyes set high on the head and the body is dark in color with white hexagonal spots giving it a honeycomb appearance. The fins are usually yellow in color with a dark rim and have only soft rays. The average length of this species is 7.9 inches but some can grow to 16 inches long.

When feeding, the smooth trunk fish often pushes a stream of water out of the mouth to uncover its prey. The diet consists of crustaceans, small mollusks, worms, sponges, and tunicates.

The smooth trunkfish when stressed will release a poisonous secretion through the skin witch can kill a predatory fish and can be harmful to humans. If kept in an aquarium, and if this fish is frightened or stressed, it may release its toxin and kill any other fish that inhabits the same tank.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Tetraodontiformes

Family: Ostraciidae

Image Credit: Becky A. Dayhuff/NOAA/Wikipedia

Smooth Trunkfish Rhinesomus triqueter


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