Shaw's Cowfish

Aracana aurita

Aracana aurita - Shaw's Cowfish
image_search Terms and anatomy

Size: 25 cm

Distribution: All SA continental waters

Habitat: Rocky reef, seagrass beds

Depth: Subtidal, usually from 10+ metres

Aracana aurita - Shaw's Cowfish

Aracana aurita is usually found from about 10m depth, but occasionally much shallower, on seagrass beds and rocky reefs. Males are blue and yellow and have a distinctive pattern of stripes and spots, while females are brown and white with a pattern of mostly horizontal, branching stripes. They can be distinguished from the similar Aracana ornata by their rearward pointing "horns", large lips and, specifically with females, the smaller number of stripes on the caudal peduncle (usually three, compared to five).