Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Eastern Indian Ocean distribution. In Australia it is recorded in temperate waters from central New South Wales around the southern coast to south western Western Australia.
Frequents sandy, muddy and weedy habitats where it usually remains buried. Depth range from intertidal areas to at least 50 m.
Variable colouration. Apart from adult males most appear sandy coloured with diffuse spots and bars. Cryptic species, its presence noted usually only when disturbed. Instead of scales they have a tough slimy skin which tastes bad to predators. Adult in top photograph, lower photograph shows small juvenile, 10 mm long. Grows to 10 cm but usually smaller at 7 cm in length.
Kuiter, R. H., Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Published by Crawford House Press Pty. Ltd., 1993. p. 341.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Eocallionymus-papilio.html. Accessed 25/05/18.