Crowned Toby, Canthigaster axiologus Whitley 1931

Other Names: Banded Sharpnose Pufferfish, Barred Toadfish, Crowned Puffer, Four-barred Toby, Pacific Crown Toby, Pacific Crowned Toby, Sharpnosed Pufferfish, Striped Toby, Three-barred Puffer, Three-barred Toby

Courting Crowned Tobys, Canthigaster axiologus, at Flinders Reef, Moreton Island, Queensland. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution


A colourful pufferfish with three brown wedge-shaped saddles, and numerous bright blue and yellow spots or lines around the eyes and along the edges of the saddles. The saddles do not extend onto the belly (unlike those of the Blacksaddle Toby, Canthigaster valentini.

Canthigaster axiologus was previously considered to be a synonym of C. coronata, which is found only at Johnston Atoll and the Hawaiian Islands in the Central Pacific.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Canthigaster axiologus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Crowned Toby, Canthigaster axiologus Whitley 1931

More Info


Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Montague Island, southern New South Wales. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical Western Pacific from Japan to New South Wales, east to the Marshall Islands and Tonga.

Often inhabits open sandy and rubble areas near reefs.


Dorsal fin 9-11; Anal fin 9-10; Pectoral fin 15-18; Gill rakers 7-9

Body depth between origins of dorsal and anal fins 3.0-3.3 in SL; head length (HL) 2.3-2.5 in SL; interorbital width 3.75-4.4 in HL; gill opening 4.8-5.55 in HL; origin of anal fin below or posterior to rear base of dorsal fin, the preanal length 1.25-1.35 in SL; longest dorsal ray 2.4-2.9 in HL.

Similar Species

Differs from the Blacksaddle Toby, Canthigaster valentini, in having shorter saddles that do not extend onto the belly.

Species Citation

Canthigaster axiologus Whitley, 1931, Aust. Zool. 6(4): 333. Type locality: near Capricorn Group, Great Barrier Reef.


Bray, D.J. 2022

Crowned Toby, Canthigaster axiologus Whitley 1931


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research Vol. 1-3 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Randall, J.E. 1977. Review of the sharpnose pufferfishes (subfamily Canthigasterinae) of the Indo-Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum 30(17): 475-517 figs 1-15 (as Canthigaster coronota)

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp. (as Canthigaster coronata)

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. and P.J. Kailola, 1984. Trawled fishes of southern Indonesia and northwestern Australia. Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Australia, Directorate General of Fishes, Indonesia, and German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Federal Republic of Germany. 407 pp. (as Canthigaster coronota)

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. (as Canthigaster coronata)

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

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls. (as Canthigaster coronata)

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 Canthigaster coronata)

Randall, J.E., J.T. Williams & L.A. Rocha. 2008. The Indo-Pacific tetraodontid fish Canthigaster coronata, a complex of three species. Smithiana Bulletin 9: 3-13.

Williams, J.T., Delrieu-Trottin, E. & Planes, S. 2012. A new species of Indo-Pacific fish, Canthigaster criobe, with comments on other Canthigaster (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae) at the Gambier Archipelago. Zootaxa 3523: 80-88.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467074


Depth:5-80 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:13.5 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map