Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa, north to southern Japan, southern Korea, the Ogasawara Islands, south to Australia. Also in Palau and Yap in Micronesia. In Australia recorded from Esperance in Western Australia, across the tropical north including the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and south to Port Kembla in New South Wales, and including Lord Howe and Norfolk Island.
Frequents coastal waters, bays and estuaries, also coral reefs. Prefers silty areas or mud bottoms, under ledges, in caves, under solid objects. Depth to 60 m.
Distinctly coloured with light coloured stripes which are very evident when young, less so when adult. Young and small adults known to"ball up" and move across the substrate as one, feeding as they go on variety of crustaceans, molluscs, worms and small fish. Adults tend to be solitary or in small groups. Mouth surrounded by prominent barbels, one venomous spine at the beginning of the dorsal and each of the pectoral fins. Grows to 35 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.45.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=plotosus+lineatus. Accessed 02/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Plotosus-lineatus.html. Accessed 02/07/18.