Ringscale Threefin, Enneapterygius atrogulare (Günther 1873)

Other Names: Black Triple-fins, Eastern Australian Blackhead Triplefin, Eastern White-barred Threefin, Ringed Triplefin, Ringed Triple-fins, Ring-scale Threefin, Saddled Triplefin

A male Ringscale Threefin, Enneapterygius atrogulare, at La Perouse, Botany Bay, New South Wales. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Males are reddish-orange with a black head mask, white saddles along the back, and blackish dorsal fins. Females are a mottled brown to greenish-brown pale saddles and a whitish streak running from the rear of the upper jaw below the eye and across the cheek. Both sexes have a dark vertical bar on the caudal peduncle from the dorsal to the ventral surface, a uniformly pale caudal fin, and the first dorsal fin is lower in height than the second dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Enneapterygius atrogulare in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/16

Ringscale Threefin, Enneapterygius atrogulare (Günther 1873)

More Info


Herald Cays in the Coral Sea, and far north Queensland, to Nadgee, southern New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in Tonga.
Inhabits algae and rubble areas on intertidal and subtidal reefs in bays and estuaries.


This species may be referred to as Enneapterygius annulatus (Ramsay & Ogilby, 1887).


The specific name atrogulare is from the  Latin ater (= black) and gula (= throat), in reference to the black throat of males of this species.

Species Citation

Tripterygium atrogulare Günther 1873, Journal des Museum Godeffroy, Hamburg 1(4): 91. Type locality: Bowen, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Ringscale Threefin, Enneapterygius atrogulare (Günther 1873)


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). Theses Zoologicae 29: 1-607 figs 1-110 

Fricke, R. 1994. Tripterygiid fishes of Australia, New Zealand and the Southwest Pacific Ocean, with descriptions of 2 new genera and 16 species (Teleostei). Theses Zoologicae 24: 1-585 figs 1-130 

Fricke, R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2017. Enneapterygius niue, a new species of triplefin from Niue and Samoa, southwestern Pacific Ocean (Teleostei: Tripterygiidae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 25: 14-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.269464

Günther, A. 1873. Zweiter ichthyologischer Beitrag nach Exemplaren aus dem Museum Godeffroy. Journal des Museum Godeffroy, Hamburg 1(4): 89-92, 265-268 

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. (as Enneapterygius annulatus)

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp. (as Enneapterygius annulatus)

Ramsay, E.P. & Ogilby, J.D. 1888. Descriptions of two new fishes from Port Jackson. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 2 2(4): 1021-1023 (described as Tripterygium annulatum) See ref at BHL

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. (as Enneapterygius annulatus)

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Williams, J.T., Smith, D.G., Kulbicki, M., Tham, G.M., Labrosse, P., Kronen, M., Clua, E. & Mann, B.S. 2003. Checklist of the shore and epipelagic fishes of Tonga. Atoll Research Bulletin: 497-508.

Whitley, G.P. 1931. New names for Australian fishes. The Australian Zoologist 6(4): 310-334 1 fig. pls 25-27 (as Vauclusella annulata)

Williams, J. 2014. Enneapterygius atrogulare. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T179006A1558492. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T179006A1558492.en. Downloaded on 07 November 2020. 

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37415012

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:6 cm TL

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