Orectolobus ornatus (De Vis, 1883)

Common Name: 
Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong
Distribution: 

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. In Australia recorded from Port Douglas in Queensland to Sydney New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents rocky reef, preferring clear water, to at least 50 m. Usually found under ledges or in caves during daylight hours. Often found where schools of small fish congregate.

Additional Notes: 

Suspected pregnant female pictured in top photo. Sometimes mistaken for Orectolobus maculatus but O. ornatus is generally more brown and lacking the pale edged circular spots. Post spiracular dermal lobes are unbranched in this species, separating them from juvenile Orectolobus halei, which when small are very similar in colouration. See photograph below. Grows to about 1.2 m. 

References: 

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

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=orectolobus+ornatus. Accessed 30/09/2018.