Ostracion cubicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Ostracion cubicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Ostracion cubicus

English Name: Yellow boxfish

Creole Name: Bours kof

French Name: Bourse coffre

IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)


Dorsal spines: 0; Dorsal rays: 8-9; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 9.

Quadrangular body almost completely encased in a bony shell or carapace formed of enlarged, thickened scale plates, hexagonal in shape and firmly sutured 
to one another. No ridge along midline of back. No spines on carapace.  Scale-plates with surface granulations. Small, terminal mouth with fleshy lips. 
Teeth moderate, conical. Gill opening a moderately short, oblique slit in front of pectoral-fin base. Single non-spinous dorsal fin origin anterior to 
anal fin. No pelvic fins. 

Colour. Changes colour and shape with growth. Juveniles are bright yellow with black spots on the head and body. Large adults vary from pale yellowish-grey 
to bluish or purplish-brown with a yellow tail base. Remnant dark spots on the body, and small black spots on the fins. 


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 45cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Coastal in lagoons and on coral and rocky reefs (depth 1-50m). Juveniles often among Acropora corals. Feeds on benthic invertebrates, small fish and algae. 
Occurs in harems consisting of single males and 2-4 females.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in net fisheries and occasionally by hook, but is an uncommon to rare 
component of the catch. 


In water photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. 
Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.


Bray, D.J.  Ostracion cubicus in Fishes of Australia, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2474 (30/07/19). 
Carpenter, K.E. et al. (1997). FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living martine resources of Kuwait, Estern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Rome, FAO. 1997. 293p. ISBN 92-5-103741-8
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2019). FishBase. Ostracion cubicus. https://www.fishbase.se/summary/Ostracion-cubicus.html (30/07/19). 


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Ostracion cubicus, Yellow boxfish. Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. https://seatizens.sc/species/ostracion-cubicus-linnaeus-1758/

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