Animal Species:Ringscale Triplefin, Enneapterygius atrogulare (Gunther, 1873)
The Ringscale Triplefin is a small, cryptic species that has three dorsal fins.
Ringscale Triplefin at 'The Pipeline'
Photographer: David and Leanne Atkinson © David and Leanne Atkinson
Standard Common Name
Ring-scale Triplefin, Black Triple-fins, Eastern Australian Blackhead Triplefin, Eastern White-barred Threefin, Ringed Triplefin, Saddled Triplefin
The Ringscale Triplefin has a pointed snout and eyes placed high on the head. It has three separate dorsal fins (as do all fishes in the family Tripterygiidae), hence its common name.
Male and female Ringscale Triplefins look very different. Males are orange with white saddles on the back and a black head. Females are mottled brown with pale saddles on the back.
The species is often listed in publications as Enneapterygius annulatus (Ramsay & Ogilby, 1887).
The species endemic to Australia. It occurs from northern Queensland to southern 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
The species occurs in estuarine and marine waters.
- Fricke, R. 1997. Tripterygiid fishes of the western and central Pacific, with descriptions of 15 new species, including an annotated checklist of world Tripterygiidae (Teleostei). Koeltz Scientific Books. Pp. 607.
- 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. (as Enneapterygius annulatus )
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow