Humpback Turretfish, scientifically known as Tetrosomus gibbosus, is also called the Camel Cowfish because of its hump.
It belongs to the boxfish family called Ostraciidae and is a type of ray-finned fish. Other names for this fish are Helmet Cowfish and Thornbacked Boxfish.
Humpback turretfish is closely related to the Smallspine Turretfish (T. reipublicae) and is in the Indo-West Pacific region.
Since 1988, it has been spotted occasionally in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levantine waters, possibly entering through the Suez Canal.
It’s the first boxfish species discovered in this area. Although valued in aquariums, keeping humpback turretfish is difficult.
Its natural habitat includes deep coastal slopes and sheltered muddy areas with sandy bottoms.
Occasionally, it’s found near shallow seagrass beds with silty rubble substrates.
Humpback turretfish are solitary creatures that feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates.
They’re not typically consumed due to their poisonous flesh and organs; hence they’re considered “trash fish.”
While keeping humpback turretfish in a reef tank, caution should be exercised.
Humpback Turretfish Interesting Facts
- Humpback turretfish are found in the Indo-West Pacific region, with habitats ranging from deep coastal slopes to shallow seagrass beds.
- They have poisonous flesh and organs, making them unsuitable for consumption and potentially dangerous to other fish in aquariums.
- These fish grow up to 11.8 inches (30.0 centimeters) long but typically measure around 7.9 inches (20.0 centimeters), with distinctive features like a brown hexagonal pattern on a light gray body and a triangular-shaped shell.
- Young humpback turretfish have large spines along their ridges, which decrease as they mature into adults.
Humpback Turretfish Habitat
Humpback turretfish is a tropical fish found in the Indo-West Pacific region.
Its habitat range stretches from the Red Sea and East Africa to Indonesia, southern Japan, and northern Australia.
This fish has also entered the southeastern Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.
It lives in marine environments near reefs and can be found at depths of 37 to 110 meters (121 to 361 feet).
Humpback Turretfish Physical Characteristics
Size: 7.9 inches (20.0 centimeters)
Humpback turretfish grows up to a maximum length of 11.8 inches (30.0 centimeters). However, most of them reach up to 7.9 inches (20.0 centimeters) long.
This fish has no dorsal spines and instead has 9 soft rays on its back. Its anal fin also has no spines but has between 9 to 10 soft rays.
This fish is easily recognized due to its light gray body covered in a brown hexagonal pattern and irregular blotches often visible on the side.
It has a triangular-shaped shell with an elevated ridge on top that contains a single compressed spine.
The snout’s shape is concave, and it has a rounded tail fin.
Young humpback turretfish have large spines along their ridges as they develop into adults.