Threespot Angelfish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus (Cuvier 1831)

Other Names: Three-spot Angelfish

A Threespot Angelfish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus, at Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A bright yellow angelfish with blue lips, a broad black margin on the anal fin, a black spot on the forehead and an indistinct spot just behind the gill cover. Juveniles lack the spots and have a narrow black band through the eye and golden bars on the side.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Apolemichthys trimaculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Feb 2024,

Threespot Angelfish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus (Cuvier 1831)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Ningaloo Reef, Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and Escape Reef to Channel Reef , Queensland. Elsewhere, widely distributed throughout the Indian Ocean and the tropical western Pacific Ocean.

Solitary or seen in pairs and small groups on outer reef slopes and steep drop-offs, although they also occur found in lagoons and on shallower reefs. Juveniles are secretive and shelter in crevices, usually in depths below 25 m.


25 cm


Feeds on sponges and tunicates. 

Species Citation

Holacanthus trimaculatus Cuvier 1831, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 7: 196. Type locality: Moluccas


Dianne J. Bray

Threespot Angelfish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus (Cuvier 1831)


Allen, G.R., 1985. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Vol. 2. 3rd edit. in English. Mergus Publishers, Melle, Germany.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & Allen, M. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Cairns : Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research 250 pp. figs.

Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: University of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.
Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1831. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 7 531 pp. pls 170-208.

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Pyle, R. 2001. Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae. pp. 3224-3286 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.

Pyle, R., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Apolemichthys trimaculatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 13 October 2013.

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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.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365016

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:10-80 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:26 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map