Animal Species:Smallspine Turretfish, Tetrosomus reipublicae (Whitley, 1930)

The Smallspine Turretfish varies from green to brown or pink with darker blotches. As the fish ages it has increasing numbers of blue spots. It is known from marine waters throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific.

Smallspine Turretfish at Camp Cove

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Smallspine Turretfish

Alternative Name/s

Turretfish

Identification

The Smallspine Turretfish has a hard carapace that is triangular in cross-section. It has a small mouth and a pointed snout. The dorsal fin is positioned further forward than the anal fin. The colouration of the species varies from green to brown or pink with darker blotches. Some of the carapace plates have dark margins. As the fish ages it has increasing numbers of blue spots.

In many publications, this species has been listed as Tetrosomus concatenatus. This name is a junior synonym of the Atlantic species Lactophrys triqueter (Linnaeus, 1758).

Size range

The species grows to 22 cm in length.

Similar Species

A second species of the genus Tetrosomus is found in tropical Australian waters. The Humpback Turretfish, Tetrosomus gibbosus, occurs from north-western Western Australia to southern Queensland.

Distribution

It is known from marine waters throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Tetrosomus reipublicae

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Smallspine Turretfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It occurs in a range of habitats from coral reef to inshore rocky reefs and seagrass beds.

Classification

Species:
reipublicae
Genus:
Tetrosomus
Family:
Ostraciidae
Order:
Tetraodontiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life; the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Smallspine Turretfish, Tetrosomus reipublicae, Ostraciidae, yellow, white, brown, odd-shaped, 10 cm - 30 cm, countershaded, marine, adult, hexagonal pattern,