The Smooth Trunkfish (Lactophrys triqueter) belongs to the group of fish known as boxfishes. As with most members of this group, the Smooth Trunkfish has a very cute set of lips that it uses to nibble on sponges and various other invertebrates. They are also, strangely enough, hard bodied: underneath a very thin layer of ‘skin’ is an interlocking layer of hard hexagon plates that from a durable triangular body shape, no doubt somewhat helpful in terms of predators. It also means that if you find them washed up on the beach after a storm they dry out almost perfectly and can make a wonderful addition to a persons shell collection. Unsurprisingly enough, in many parts of the West Indies this gives rise to their common name of ‘Shellfish’.
Of all boxfishes, the Smooth Trunkfish is probably one of the friendliest…..or at least nosiest. It isn’t uncommon when diving to have this feeling that you are being followed, and turn around to find one of these little cuties on your tail. When it realises it has been spotted it will often turn around and swim off pretending to mind its own business. This habit though means that it is often possible to make a close approach to this species, great for the underwater photographer, and the reason this design is one of our favourites. It is set to be featured soon as a cut-out on some of our products, so watch this space or check out our instagram feed!
More information on this fascinating species can be found here.
About Reef Creature Clothing
We specialise in not only coral reef inspired athleisure wear, but also beach & swim wear, and other printed products. All our colourful and vibrant designs are made using digitally enhanced prints of real underwater photographs taken in the Caribbean. We donate all of our profits after costs to The Coral Reef Research Hub, a small non-profit organisation that seeks to help fund research projects undertaken by early career coral reef scientists. The projects funded are those that aim to contribute information that will hopefully lead to legislative change, and thus help to protect coral reefs and their associated resources for generations to come!
We write these regular ‘creature features’ to help you learn more about the fascinating inhabitants of the coral reefs where our images came from. More will continue to be posted over the coming months so watch this space!