You have just realized that the juvenile spotted trunkfish (Lactophrys bicaudalis) is the most adorable fish on the planet. This little guy is about the size of a pea. They can be founds in reefs throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
“Found on coral reefs. Solitary or in small groups. Feeds on a wide variety of small bottom invertebrates such as mollusks, crustaceans, worms, sessile tunicates and sponges exposed by a jet of water ejected through the mouth. Marketed fresh locally. Toxins released when excited kill other fishes. Easily approached…”
The Spotted Trunkfish is a member of the family Ostraciidae. It can be found in reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean as well as the south eastern Atlantic Ocean. The species gets its name from the black spots it has covered over its yellow/golden body.
The spotted trunkfish, like all trunkfish of the Genus Lactophrys, secretes a colorless ciguatera toxin from glands on its skin when touched. The toxin is only dangerous when ingested, so there’s no immediate harm to divers. Predators however, as large as nurse sharks, can die as a result of eating a trunkfish.