Animal Species:Ornate Cowfish, Aracana ornata (Gray, 1838)

The Ornate Cowfish is a sexually dimorphic species that is endemic to Australia.

Standard Common Name

Ornate Cowfish

Alternative Name/s

Ornate Boxfish

Identification

Males have a complex pattern of dots and lines.  The tail is yellow with blue markings.  Females have brown and white stripes.  They can be separated from the similar-looking Shaw's Cowfish, by the more upright spines above the eyes.

Size range

15 cm

Distribution

The species occurs from southern New South Wales to the south-western coast of Western Australia.

 

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Aracana ornata

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Ornate Cowfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
ornata
Genus:
Aracana
Family:
Ostraciidae
Order:
Tetraodontiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Ornate Cowfish, Aracana ornata, Ostraciidae, green, black, grey, odd-shaped, 10 cm - 30 cm, marine, adult,