There’s no denying that marine cowfishes are among some of the most alien and bizarre looking reef fish that ever make it to our aquariums. With their weird hovering motion, box like body and long forward facing horns, cowfish are one of those species that the uninitiated always point to and scream ‘what’s that?’
With their unique diet preferences and constant grazing behavior, it’s not that easy to acclimate a wild cowfish to aquarium life but now you won’t have to. At MACNA 2017 Proaquatix announced that they had successfully captive bred the scrawled cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis.
Not to be confused with the longhorn cowfish, Lactoria cornuta, the scrawled cowfish is actually much more attractive with a triangular shaped body, short horns, and beautiful blue scribbled lines all over its face and body. This is not the first time that cowfish have been cultured in captivity, which was done with wild collected eggs by Reef Culture Technologies, but it is the first time that the species has been bred entirely in aquarium systems.
When I worked the retail Local Fish Store beat it was always a challenge to supply customers with cowfish that would certainly do well in an aquarium environment. But now with Proaquatix’s new captive bred scrawled cowfish, aquarists will have a much better experience with a aquarium bred cowfish that is acclimated to living in an aquarium and eating aquarium foods.