Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific region: from the Red Sea to Samoa, north to Taiwan. In Australia it is recorded from the central coast of Western Australia, across the tropical north, the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and south to northern New South Wales including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents sandy or gravel areas adjacent to coral reefs, clear lagoon and seaward reefs. Depth range 2 to at least 20 m.
Pale body colour with longitudinal row of black spots, some of which are fused to form dashes, interspersed with white spots along lower sides, and dark oblique dashes on operculum of adults. Similar Istigobius rigilius has brown spots in a row behind the pectoral fin. Adult specimen pictured at top, juvenile below. Generally solitary, feeds on small benthic invertebrates. Grows to 13 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.400.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=istigobius+decoratus. Accessed 02/06/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/istigobius-decoratus.html. Accessed 02/06/18.