The Ornate Boxfish has to be one of the most adorable fish alive. With his geometric striped markings, bright orange tale, and devilish grin, this iconic Australia species has earned his spot in the holy grail fish book.
Ornate Boxfish (Aracana ognata) is a temperate water species found only in Southern Australia. These fish require special care and are rarely seen in aquarium outside of Australia. But recently a brilliant adult male specimen went on display at the Birch Aquarium located at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego California.
The Birch aquarium has other endemic Aussi marine life including a breeding program for seadragon. However, a fish with this much personality is no doubt a jewel in their Australian aquarium displays.
The ornate boxfish lives between Southern Australia’s subtropical and temperate zones. This area has cooler water between 68F – 75F (20C – 24C) as well as rocky reefs and protected bays. In the wild the ornate boxfish can be found down to depths of 196feet (60m)
The species is sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females look different. Males are slightly larger and have a complex stripe and spot pattern. Females are slightly smaller and have beautiful stripes.
One of the other reasons they are rarely kept in aquariums is they can release a toxin from their skin that can quickly whip out a stocked aquarium system. These fish are best kept to experts and housed in a regionally specific tank.
We came across this fish while scrolling through #reefbuilders on Instagram and quickly found lots of great pictures of videos of this friendly fish. It seems the charismatic boxfish has sure captured the attention of many adoring fans.