Longhorn Cowfish

Longhorn Cowfish
LONGHORN COWFISH (Lactoria cornuta)
Pronounced: Lak-tor-ee-u corn-oo-tu Order: Tetraodontiformes
Kingdom: Animalia Family: Ostraciidae
Phylum: Chordata Genus: Lactoria
Class: Actinopterygii Species: Cornuta


The Longhorn Cowfish actually has two pairs of long horns, one in front of its eyes and another pair beside its tail. They occasionally break off when a predator lunges at them or they pass by a rock or coral, but luckily, can regrow them within a few months.
The horns are thought to deter predators, but the Cowfish has an even greater warning system: coloration. Its bright body, often with colored patterns, warns other animals that it won’t taste good. In fact, their flesh is poisonous, so predators have learned to avoid them. For those who don’t, the Cowfish can also let out ostracitoxin, another poisonous substance, from their skin, into the surrounding water when they are under stress.


Cowfish are slow swimmers. They can hover in the water by moving their pectoral and dorsal fins against the water in opposite directions. They are omnivores, feeding on algae, sponges, microorganisms, molluscs, and small fish. They often blow water through their mouths onto the sand to uncover prey. They grow up to 20” long.


Their habitat is the coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and sandy shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean. As adults, they are usually solitary, but form groups as juveniles. They have been known to make a grunting noise if they are picked up.

Purchase The Card Game Today!