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Species guide

Horned cowfish

 

Scientific name: Lactoria corneta

 

DESCRIPTION:

The horned cowfish belongs to the group of chest fish. These are called this because they have developed a protective cover of large, thick scales, which means that adult chest fish are practically immune to predators, except for the largest ones. They do not have pelvic fins, but bone protrusions may appear in their place, and it is the movement of the dorsal, anal and pectoral fins that allow them to swim slowly. This fish is yellow, with an intensity that may vary depending on its ‘mood’, with electric blue spots. Its caudal fin or tail continues to grow throughout its life and becomes as long as its body. Its maximum size is 50 cm.

 

BIOLOGY:

This species is shy, solitary and tranquil. They swim calmly and can find problems finding food.
It is an omnivore, that is, it eats everything. Sometimes it picks at coral and sea feathers.
Its reproduction is oviparous and they spawn in the summer months. The female lays her eggs on seaweed beds.

 

HABITAT:

It lives on coral reefs at depths of 10-20 m. The young live in groups in salty waters close to river mouths.

 

DISTRIBUTION:

It is found in the Indian-Pacific: Red Sea, east of Africa, Indonesia and Japan.

 

STATUS:

Species not evaluated (according to the red list of endangered species).

 

CURIOSITIES:

Some chest fish species protect themselves even more by segregating a poisonous substance (ostracitoxine) in the water surrounding them.

 

OBSERVATION:

It is called cowfish because of the two protrusions it has over its eyes, that remind us of two horns.

 

 

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