Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    ornata
    Genus
    Aracana
    Family
    Ostraciidae
    Order
    Tetraodontiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    15 cm

Introduction

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

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.

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

Ozcam map of Ornate Cowfish specimens in the Australian Museum. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Aracana%20ornata&zoom=off#mapView

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.