Name source
Australian Faunal Directory
Data links

Life Science Identifier (LSID):

LSIDs are persistent, location-independent,resource identifiers for uniquely naming biologically significant resources including species names, concepts, occurrences, genes or proteins, or data objects that encode information about them. To put it simply, LSIDs are a way to identify and locate pieces of biological information on the web.

Data Links


For a JSON view of this data, click here


To use WMS services, copy and paste the following GetCapabilities URL into your OGC client (e.g. uDIG, ESRI ArcGIS) ornata
For higher taxa, this will give you a hierarchical listing of layers for each taxon.


To download an RDF/XML document for the concepts and names click here
A JSON view of this information is here here
A html view of this information is here here

Further details

For more details on occurrence webservices, click here
For more details on names webservices, click here

Species presence
 Recorded In Australia
 Marine Habitats

Occurrence records map

occurrence map map legend

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  • representative image of taxa
    Source: Australian National Fish Collection Images
    Image by: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO
    Rights: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO

Online resources

Australian National Fish Collection Images
Authoritative image, Images, Occurrence record
Encyclopedia of Life
Description, Images, Occurrence record
Marine Life Society of South Australia
Images, Occurrence record
Port Phillip Marine Life
Images, Occurrence record
Reef Life Survey Images
Images, Occurrence record
Seafood Services Australia
CAAB Code, Author

Species Lists

RLS profile v3
Abundance: 1
Behaviour: The ornate cowfish is most often sighted near seagrass beds
Commercial_Uses: None, other than trivial captures for aquarium trade
Common_Name: Ornate cowfish;
Depth: 1–60 m
Description: The ornate cowfish is most often sighted near seagrass beds
Distribution: Esperance, WA, to Mallacoota, Vic, and around Tas.
Frequency: 0.258
Habitat: Sheltered seagrass, reef
IUCN_Threat_status: Not assessed
Invasive: Not known to be invasive
Max_size: 150 mm
Range: 918.837
Threats: No major threats to this species are known
similar_species: The male ornate cowfish differs from the closely related Shaw’s cowfish in having narrower spines on the back, a prominent bump in front of the eye, and a regular arrangement of blue-centred black spots on the yellow sides of the body. The female ornate cowfish is more difficult to distinguish because it has red, white and black striped sides, but the body is deeper with narrower spines on the back than female Shaw’s cowfish, and the lines along the sides are narrower and more linear
South Australian Fish from the AFD
Museums Field Guide apps species profiles – vertebrates
Brief description: Body deep, robust, encased in a rigid carapace with stout spines; males blue, black, orange and yellow with a hump on the snout, females brown with wavy lines and circles.
Description : Body robust, encased in a rigid box-like carapace, with stout spines above the eye, along the back and on the lower sides. Males are strikingly-coloured with blue, black, yellow and orange stripes and spots. Females are brownish with a complex pattern of pale stripes, wavy lines and circles. Shaw's Cowfish lacks the a hump on the snout in males of this species and has diagonal lines on snout. Up to 15 cm long head to tail tip.
Biology : The Ornate Boxfish is common in shallow seagrass beds in bays and estuaries along the southern coast. This slow moving species feeds on benthic invertebrates.
Habitat: Shallow coastal waters and bays with seagrass or algal cover.
Native status: Native to Australia
Diet: Carnivore
Distribution: Southern Australia.
Habitat types: Marine
Depth: Shallow (1-30m)
Water column: On or near seafloor
Commercial species: False
Author credit: Dianne J. Bray, Dr Martin F. Gomon / Museum Victoria

Names and sources

Accepted name Source
Aracana ornata


Synonyms Source
Ostracion flavigaster Gray, 1838 Gray, 1838
Published in: Gray, J.E. 1838. Notes on fish. Ann. Nat. Hist. Vol. 1 pp. 109-111
Ostracion ornata Gray, 1838 Gray, 1838
Published in: Gray, J.E. 1838. Notes on fish. Ann. Nat. Hist. Vol. 1 pp. 109-111

Common Names

Common name Source
Ornate Cowfish
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Ornate Boxfish
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Working classification

Aracana ornata  Recorded in Australia

Occurrence records

View list of all occurrence records for this taxon

Charts showing breakdown of occurrence records

Hint: click on chart elements to view that subset of records

Name references found in the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Name references found in the TROVE - NLA


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