Species Aracana aurita

Common names: Shaw's cowfish (striped cowfish) Previous nomenclature: Aracana spilogaster

Material

Description based on otoliths of two specimens of 98 and 153 mm TL. Otolith catalogue reference 33.13P3 and 33.13P9. Catch locality Storm Bay. ID by GF.

Otolith description

Otolith small, tall discoid. All margins with extreme sculpturing. Sulcus groove heterosulcoid with ostium larger than cauda, but often difficult to distinguish due to extreme formation of colliculum; opening ostia-caudal. Colliculum very well developed. Crista superior ridge-like, extending from anti-rostrum to mid-cauda; crista inferior difficult to distinguish from sculpturing of ventral area. Rostrum and antirostrum margins vary from smooth and rounded to highly irregular. Pseudo-rostrum and pseudo-antirostrum similarly vary in relief, or are absent. Excisura wide; notch deep; angle acute. Pseudo-excisura similar to excisura, or absent. Dorsal area depression deep behind ridge of crista superior. Ventral area depression absent; groove present but indistinct.

Morphometry

No data are available.

Distribution and ecology

Confined to southern Australia from New South Wales to Dongara (Western Australia), and Tasmania; on shallow rocky reefs and seagrass beds along the southern coasts, but only in trawl depths in its northern range, 10-160 m depth (Gomon et al. 1994).

Predator-prey information

Undistinguished species of this Family are known prey of Australian fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) (Hume et al. 2004) and pied cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius) (Marchant and Higgins 1990).

Otolith of Aracana aurita from a fish of 153 mm TL
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