Threespot Rabbitfish, Siganus trispilos Woodland & Allen 1977

Other Names: Threeblotch Rabbitfish, Threeblotch Spinefoot, Threeblotched Rabbitfish, Three-blotched Spinefoot, Three-spot Rabbitfish, Threespot Spinefoot
A yellow fish with three dark blotches on the upper sides amongst branching corals

A Threespot Rabbitfish, Siganus trispilos, at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A bright yellow rabbitfish with three large dark brown blotches on the upper side, small bluish ocelli on the head, upper sides and lower surface, and a diagonal brown smudge through the eye.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Siganus trispilos in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024,

Threespot Rabbitfish, Siganus trispilos Woodland & Allen 1977

More Info


Endemic to north Western Australia (Ningaloo Reef complex; North West Cape; Murion Islands; Rosemary Islands, Dampier Archipelago, Corneliesse Shoal), Ningaloo Reef just north of Pelican Point, to Corneliesse Shoal, northwest of Port Hedland.
Inhabits hard coral-rich areas, especially amongst Acropora corals.


Dorsal fin XIII, 10; Anal fin VII, 9; Vertebrae 13. 

Fin and nape spines fairly stout, pungent, and venomous. Midline of thorax and pelvic ridges fully scaled.


Sides of body and fins bright yellow with an orange hue; 3 chocolate brown patches on upper half of body below spinous part of dorsal fin; head, thorax, ventral margin of body, upper half of sides, and caudal peduncle with blue pinhead-sized ocelli, with deep blue margin; ocelli also present within the 3 patches; fins may be invaded basally by blue ocelli. Brown smudge running diagonally through eye; yellow lips; dusky yellow iris. 


Herbivore - browses on upright macroalgae on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.

Species Citation

Siganus trispilos Woodland & Allen, 1977, Copeia 1977(4): 617, fig. 1. Type locality: coral reef off Tantabiddi Creek, North West Cape, Western Australia (21°55'S, 115°56'E).


Bray, D.J. 2018


Threespot Rabbitfish, Siganus trispilos Woodland & Allen 1977


Allen, G.R. 1985. Fishes of Western Australia. Book 9. pp. 2207-2534 526 pls in Burgess, W.E. & Axelrod, H.R. (eds) Pacific Marine Fishes. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1987. Reef fishes of the Indian Ocean. Book 10. in Burgess, W.E. & Axelrod, H.R. (eds) Pacific Marine Fishes. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications. 240 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds) Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives. A comprehensive guide to Acanthuroidei. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp.

Vergès, A, Hyndes, G.A, Vanderkilft, M.A. 2011. Trophic effects through herbivory at Ningaloo Reef. Final report for WAMSI Node 3.2: Biodiversity assessment, ecosystem impacts of human usage and management evaluation. Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia

Woodland, D.J. 1990. Revision of the fish family Siganidae with descriptions of two new species and comments on distribution and biology. Indo-Pacific Fishes 19: 1-136 figs 1-23, 11 pls

Woodland, D.J. & Allen, G.R. 1977. Siganus trispilos, a new species of Siganidae from the eastern Indian Ocean. Copeia 1977(4): 617-620 fig. 1 Abstract

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37438014

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:0-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map