I thought Caribbean boxfish I. D. was relatively simple.  Going through some old photos, I came across this photo from May 2012, Snapper Ledge, Key Largo, Florida.  To me, it looks like a scrawled cowfish without the distinctive "horns."  What is it?  How can you tell?

Thank You,


Not a Cowfish

I think this is a Spotted Trunkfish. You can see the spines in front of the anal fin.

The pattern on the body is tricky, but like many fish it can be changed by the fish in responce to stress, feeding and other factors.

It looks to me to have white around the mouth, a distictive feature of the Spotted Trunkfish.

Mystery Boxfish

I found this same boxfish on Sombrero Key Reef in May 2009.  I am NOT convinced it is a Spotted Trunkfish, and am still trying to get an ID of it.

Any new thoughts out there?

Thanks, Donna

funky trunkfish

yes, many have seen this variation, in Utila too. Most likely a color variation of spotted, but no-one has collected DNA yet to see if it is a hybrid or something..

scrawled trunkfish

I saw one of those today at Glover's Reef, Belize. Would be interesting to know whether it's a hybrid or color variation, does anybody have more information?

The trunk fish

It's definitely a trunk fish, but I have never seen one with those markings. A variation of the spotted trunk fish would be my guess.


We have seen it in Islamorada as well, can you say "fin clipping"?

Scrawled Trunkfish

The little guy must travel around a bit.  Photographed it at Klein Bonaire in November 2015. The people at Buddy Dive called it a scrawled trunkfish.

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