Roundbelly Cowfish Click to enlarge image
A Roundbelly Cowfish at a depth of 10 m, 'The Pipeline', Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales, 30 September 2006. Image: David and Leanne Atkinson
© David and Leanne Atkinson

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    diaphana
    Genus
    Lactoria
    Family
    Ostraciidae
    Order
    Tetraodontiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Roundbelly Cowfish grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

As its common name suggests, the belly region of this species is rounded. It has a pair of short horns in front of the eyes. The Roundbelly Cowfish occurs in tropical and some temperate waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

Identification

The Roundbelly Cowfish has a pair of short horns in front of the eyes, a stout spine on the back, and a pair of spines near the anal fin. As its common name suggests, the belly region of the carapace is rounded.

The species is yellowish to brown with dusky spots and blotches. Juveniles can be recognised by the almost transparent lower portion of the head and body.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical and some temperate waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

In Australia it is known from north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

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.



References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.