The Ornate Cowfish is a sexually dimorphic species that is endemic to Australia.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.