Species Index

Ostracion cubicus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name: Yellow Boxfish

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto Islands, north to the Ryuku Islands, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded from central Western Australia, around the tropical north of the continent, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to at least Sydney in New South Wales, and including Lord Howe Island.

Ecological Notes: Frequents lagoon and semi-sheltered seaward reefs. Juveniles expatriating to subtropical zones from the pelagic stage, often found associated with Acropora sp. corals and secretive in holes and crevices, or among sea urchin spines. Depth to 280 m, usually shallower to 50 m.

Additional Notes: Large adults bluish with yellow honeycomb pattern developing around spots on back and over face, yellow tail base. Juveniles more common in the Solitary Islands. Feed on algae and small invertebrates, molluscs, sponges, crustaceans and sand dwelling polychaetes. Juvenile (30 mm) pictured top, immatures approximately 150 mm in length in lower photographs. Grows to 45 cms.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.456.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 20/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 20/06/18.