Species Index

Lactoria fornasini
(Bianconi, 1846)

Common Name: Thornback Cowfish

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific region: East Africa to the Hawaiian and Rapa Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. In Australia recorded north from Geraldton in Western Australia, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to southern New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: Frequents clear outer lagoon and seaward reefs, benthopelagic over rubble and sand. Depth to 132 m, usually 6 – 30 m.

Additional Notes: Colouration may be green to brown covered with blue spots and scribbles. A pair of horns at the front of each eye, also two rear facing under rear of body. Body consists of hexagonal bony plates fused into a ridged case and is covered with a toxic mucus to deter predators. Grows to 23 cm.

References: Kuiter, R. H., Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Published by Crawford House Press Pty. Ltd., 1993. p.414.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 02/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 02/06/18.