Shy Toby, Canthigaster ocellicincta Allen & Randall 1977

Other Names: Circle-barred Puffer, Circle-barred Pufferfish, Circle-barred Toby

A Shy Toby, Canthigaster ocellicincta, at Vatu-i-Ra, Fiji, November 2016. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A very shy, secretive brownish puffer with a pair of white bars in a darker patch on the side, an ocellated spot below the dorsal fin, blue vertical lines on the head, blue lines or dashes along the back, and blue spots on the abdomen and rear of the body.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Canthigaster ocellicincta in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Sep 2023,

Shy Toby, Canthigaster ocellicincta Allen & Randall 1977

More Info


One Tree Island, Capricorn Group, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Found elsewhere in the Western Pacific from the Philippines and eastern Indonesia to Fiji, north to the Ryukyu Islands in southern Japan, and south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia.
Inhabits invertebrate-rich inshore reefs to outer reef walls, and reef pinnacles, usually sheltering in caves and crevices at depths of about 25 m or more - usuallu singly or in pairs.


Dorsal fin 9; Anal fin 9; Pectoral fin 16.

Species Citation

Canthigaster ocellicincta Allen & Randall, 1977, Rec. Aust. Mus. 30(17): 485, fig. 3B.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Shy Toby, Canthigaster ocellicincta Allen & Randall 1977


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

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.W. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Matsuura, K., Yoshino, T., 1992. First records of two sharpnose pufferfishes from Japan. Ichthyological Research 39(2): 178-180. 

Nakabo, T. (ed.) 2002. Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species. English edition. Tokyo : Toikai University Press Vol. 2 pp. 867-1749.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

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.

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.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Shao, K., Leis, J.L., Matsuura, K., Jing, L., Hardy, G. & Liu, M. 2014. Canthigaster ocellicincta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193723A2266671. Downloaded on 09 December 2016.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467041

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Possibly poisonous

Depth:10-53 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:7.5 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map