Species Index

Orectolobus maculatus
(Bonnaterre, 1788)

Common Name: Spotted Wobbegong

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the eastern Indian Ocean. In Australia recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia around the southern coast north to central Queensland, not including Tasmania.

Ecological Notes: Frequents rocky reef and boulder areas inshore and offshore, depths to at least 110 m. Often observed under overhangs or in caves, especially in the presence of schooling species such as cardinalfish or bullseyes.

Additional Notes: Dorsal surface dark with multiple darker bands, with numerous white edged circular markings and smaller white spots. Similar O. halei and O. ornatus are generally more brown and have black edged lighter patches. Nocturnal species not often seen in mid water. Feed on bottom invertebrates including crabs, lobsters, octopuses and bony fishes. While not normally dangerous, will bite if harassed or disturbed. Grows to 3 m. 

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.17.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 01/10/2018.