The afternoon dive on July 20th was relaxing. There was very little current and we were at a shallow dive site. This meant we could go slower and spend more time looking at sea life.
I was fortunate enough to encounter a Honeycomb Cowfish near one of the coral formations. I have always liked this fish because of the unusual body shape and their honeycomb color pattern.
The website mexican-fish.com tells us,
The Honeycomb Cowfish, Acanthostracion polygonius, is a member of the Boxfish or Ostraciidae Family, that is also known as the Cowfish and the Trunkfish and in Mexico as torito hexagonal. Their common name stems from the honeycomb like pattern and “horns” with sloped face and pronounced forehead.https://mexican-fish.com/honeycomb-cowfish/
The article taught me that their, “deep triangular shaped body that is enclosed is a “carapace” made up of hexagonally-shaped plates fused together to form a shell or true carapace.”
The Florida Museum Website has more detail about the carapace. They describe it as, “consisting of thickened hexagonal scale plates that are firmly attached to each other with the exception of the cheeks to allow for respiration movements. There are openings in the carapace for the mouth, eyes, gills, fins, and the flexible caudal peduncle.”
Towards the end of the article they say, “Larger fish are potential predators of the honeycomb cowfish, however it may be undesirable as a prey item due to its protective external armor, the carapace.”