Blackhead Threefin, Enneapterygius larsonae Fricke 1994

Other Names: Western Australian Black-head Triplefin

A male Blackhead Threefin, Enneapterygius larsonae, on Elizabeth Reef, South Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Western Australia, February 2016. Source: wparkinson / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Males are red with about five white saddles or bars along the back and sometimes the sides, a black mask covering most of the head, chest and pectoral-fin base, and a white bar on the pectoral-fin base immediately behind the black area. Females are a mottled greenish to brownish, with indistinct white saddle/bars, including on the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Enneapterygius larsonae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Blackhead Threefin, Enneapterygius larsonae Fricke 1994

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Widespread in Australia, from Cape Naturaliste, south Western Australia, to the to Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory, including Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland (and possibly south to Sydney, New South Wales). Elsewhere the species occurs in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Inhabits coralline rocks, seagrass, and macroalgae on shallow coral and rocky reefs, at depths to 12 m.


Dorsal fin III + XI-XIV + 8-12; Anal fin I,14-20; Pectoral fin 14-18; Pelvic fin I,2; Lateral line scales 14-20 + 13-20.

Species Citation

Enneapterygius larsonae Fricke 1994, Theses Zoologicae 24: 235, figs 44-45. Type locality: Northwestern tip of Rosemary Island, Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Blackhead Threefin, Enneapterygius larsonae Fricke 1994


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

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

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

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

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

Williams, J. & Holleman, W. 2014. Enneapterygius larsonae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T179019A1560035. Downloaded on 15 October 2019

Williams, J.T. & Fricke, R. 2001. Family Tripterygiidae. Triplefins. pp. 3532-3535 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37415041

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-12 m

Habitat:Reef associated

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