Longhorn Cowfish

Lactoria cornutus

Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornutus) Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornutus), Wild Guide to Moreton Bay

Cowfish have their head and body encased in a series of hard bony hexagonal plates, fused to form a box, with openings for fins and other organs. They have sharp spines on the ridges in front of the eyes and behind the short tail. As further protection, mucous on their skin contains a potent toxin which makes them very unpalatable. These small fish are so heavily armoured that they are very slow-swimming. They live on shallow reef, rubble or weedy bottoms, and feed mainly on invertebrates and algae attached to the bottom.

Found throughout the Indo-Pacific, with a tropical and subtropical Australian distribution.

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