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Thornback cowfish

Lactoria forasini


Boxy fish about 4 or 5" long with a network of 5- and 6-sided darker markings on the back and sides of a white-tan body.


Warm coral reef around Hawaii.


The Waikiki Aquarium has a number of local fish in its tanks which are so much easier to photograph than those seen while under water snorkeling! This odd-looking tropical fish is related to pufferfish, and its defense mechanism is to inject a toxin into is mucosa and shed it into the water which quickly dissolves it. Nearby animals are all affected by the toxin which is surprisingly closely related to certain detergents.

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Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Lat: 21.28, Long: -157.83

Spotted on Apr 14, 2015
Submitted on May 5, 2015

Spotted for mission


Related spottings

Longhorn Cowfish Longhorn Cowfish Long-horned Cowfish Longhorn Cowfish

Nearby spottings

peppermint angelfish White Tern Coconut 'Alamihi Rock Crab/ 'alamihi