Animal Species:Tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis (Bloch, 1790)

As its common name suggests, the Tripletail could appear to have a three-lobed tail.  This results from the rounded dorsal and anal fins that are posteriorly-positioned.

Standard Common Name

Tripletail

Alternative Name/s

Triple-tail, Black Perch, Dusky Perch, Flasher, Jumping Cod

Identification

The Tripletail has distinctively rounded soft dorsal and anal fins. This characteristic gave rise to the standard name. The species has small scales extending onto the dorsal, caudal and anal fins and a head profile which becomes more concave with age.

The leaf-like juveniles are mottled with yellow, brown and black, whereas large adults are jet black.

The Tripletail is the only member of the family Lobotidae.

Size range

The Triple-tail grows to 1 m in length and up to 15 kg.

Distribution

The species occurs in all tropical and subtropical seas.

In Australia it is known from tropical and subtropical marine waters.

The fish in the image is probably the most southern record of this species on the New South Wales coast .

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

Lobotes surinamensis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Tripletail specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

Adults are usually found in coastal waters, estuaries and occassionally even in the lower reaches of freshwater streams. Juveniles often float long distances on algal mats.

Classification

Species:
surinamensis
Genus:
Lobotes
Family:
Lobotidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. 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.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis, Lobotidae, Triple-tail, Black Perch, Dusky Perch, Flasher, Jumping Cod, small scales, concave head, yellow, brown, black, blotches/mottled, 30 cm - 1 m, tropical water, subtropical water, marine, coastal water, estuaries, bluck,