General Description

Body robust, encased in a rigid box-like carapace with stout spines above each eye, along back and on lower sides; dorsal and anal fins opposite and far back on the body, pelvic fins absent. Males brightly-coloured with pale blue wavy lines and spots over an orange background, blue lines fanning out over tail. Females and juveniles pale orange to brown with irregular brown and white wavy lines and stripes. Unlike the Ornate Cowfish, this species has almost horizontal lines on the snout and lacks the hump on the snout in males. Up to 20 cm long head to tail tip.


Shaw's Cowfish inhabits shallow rocky reefs and seagrass beds. It feeds on benthic invertebrates, often exposing them by blowing jets of water onto the sediment.


Southern Australia.


Rocky reefs in coastal areas and sea grass in bay areas, to depth of 160 m.

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