Acanthostracion polygonius
Acanthostracion polygonius


Latin name Acanthostracion polygonius - Poey, 1876
Common name Honeycomb cowfish
Family Ostraciidae - Acanthostracion
Origin The Mexican Golf, West Atlantic
Max length 50.0 cm (19.7")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 2000 l (528 gal)
Hardiness Unknown
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Not reef safe
Aggressiveness Unknown


  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Soft coral
  • Sponges

Threat towards crustaceans

This species poses a threat towards shrimps and crabs etc., which are relatively small.

Family description (Ostraciidae)

Boxfish(Ostraciidae) have a unique square shape and a particular way of swimming.
They have a rather special personality, which one quickly comes to love.

Boxfish live typically off a mixture of algae, coral polyps, zooplankton, and in some cases crustaceans.
They are not normally reef safe and when small will require gentle water circulation.

Boxfish can secrete a poison when stressed or if they die, which can in the worst case, kill the contents of a whole aquarium.
Never use the water the fish was transported in.


Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Western Atlantic: New Jersey, USA and Bermuda to Brazil, including the Caribbean and Antilles. Absent from the Gulf of Mexico.
English common names Trunkfish, Honeycomb cowfish
Spanish common names Torito hexagonal, Torito, Cofre

References and further reading

About references

Bob Fenner. The Puffers Called Box-, Cowfishes, family Ostraciidae - Wet Web Media - (English)
Richard Aspinall. 2012. Oddballs for the Marine Aquarium - Tropical Fish Hobbyist - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (08/2014).


eats shrimp, eats crab
Just a moment...
Just a moment...