Spotted trunkfish

The spotted trunkfish (Lactophrys bicaudalis) is a member of the family Ostraciidae. It can be found in reefs throughout the Caribbean, as well as the south eastern Atlantic Ocean. The species gets its name from the black spots it has covered over its yellow-golden body.

Spotted trunkfish
Scientific classification
L. bicaudalis
Binomial name
Lactophrys bicaudalis

The spotted trunkfish, like all trunkfish of the genus Lactophrys, secretes a colorless toxin from glands on its skin when touched. The toxin is only dangerous when ingested, so there is no immediate harm to divers. Predators however, as large as nurse sharks, can die as a result of eating a trunkfish.

In many Caribbean countries, it is colloquially known as box-fish, cow-fish or shell-fish .[1]


  • Maurice Burton, Robert Burton. International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Marshall Cavendish, New York, 2002. ISBN 0-7614-7286-X; pp. 27582759

  1. Allsopp, Richard (1996). Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage. p. 174. ISBN 9789766401450.
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