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I came across this washed up fish in Panama City, Florida in November 2015. I'm guessing it's a puffer fish but I can't find anything like it online.


  • $\begingroup$ Search "boxfish". I see several in my ID book that look like contenders. I haven't seen this one in the wild so, lacking other viewing angles, that's as close as I gain get. $\endgroup$
    – bpedit
    Oct 9, 2016 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ For real, this fish has a pattern of perfect hexagons? How cool is that! $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Oct 10, 2016 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


This is a kind of trunkfish. (They have different names, this could be a smooth or spotted trunkfish.). It's really a lovely and comical little fish when observed alive in coral reefs. It has the ability to change its coloration depending on whether it's excited or calm, or to minimize its contrast to the background. It is related to puffer fish.

It has a boxy, triangular body shape, and propels itself with relatively tiny, delicate fins. Like pufferfish, they are toxin producers.

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In death, the body shape and coloration are different, of course. Never saw a dead one before; sad. The juveniles are adorable:

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Members of this family occur in a variety of different colors, and are notable for the hexagonal or "honeycomb" patterns on their skin. - Wikipedia

  • $\begingroup$ Trunkfish it is. Thanks for the help. It was around 12" in length, beautiful fish. I thought the pattern was too cool. $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Oct 11, 2016 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Thomas - The pattern is really incredible; you can see it go from dark with spots to light with marked hexagons. Amazing fish, one of my favorites when diving. And because they are toxic and have few predators, they are not very shy at all. $\endgroup$ Oct 11, 2016 at 16:33

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