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.
Standard Common Name
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).
The species grows to 22 cm in length.
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.
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.
Distribution by collection data
It occurs in a range of habitats from coral reef to inshore rocky reefs and seagrass beds.
- Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life; the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology