Threebar Boarfish, Histiopterus typus Temminck & Schlegel 1844

Other Names: Sailfin Armourhead, Three-barred Boarfish

A Threebar Boarfish, Histiopterus typus, from Cochin, India. Source: K.V. Akhilesh / FishBase. License: CC BY Attribution


A deep-bodied boarfish found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific.

Identifying features:
Third and fourth dorsal-fin spines elongate;
Second anal-fin spine the longest;
Vomerine teeth absent;
Adults overall dark with narrow pale vertical bands;
Juveniles pale with dark blotches on body, dorsal, anal and pelvic fins - blotches become larger and coalesce with growth.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Histiopterus typus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024,

Threebar Boarfish, Histiopterus typus Temminck & Schlegel 1844

More Info


From off Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia, to the Arafura Sea, N of Bathurst Island, Northern Territory, and off Swains Reef, Queensland, to off Gosford, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific - Red Sea, East and South Africa, eastwards to Hawaii and north to Japan.

The Threebar Boarfish inhabits deep reefs.


Dorsal fin IV, 25-27; Anal fin III, 8-10.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Evistias acutirostris in having a less deep body, and elongate third and fourth dorsal-, and third anal-fin spines elongate (vs. short dorsal and anal-fin spines in Evistias).

Species Citation

Histiopterus typus Temminck & Schlegel, 1844, Fauna Japonica Vol. 4(5–6): 86, pl. 45. Type locality: Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan (lectotype).


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Threebar Boarfish, Histiopterus typus Temminck & Schlegel 1844


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Boeseman, M. 1947. Revision of the fishes collected by Burger and van Siebold in Japan. Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 28: 1-242 pls 1-5

Hardy, G.S. 1983. A revision of the fishes of the family Pentacerotidae (Perciformes). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 10: 177-220 figs 1-13

Heemstra, P.C. 2001. Pentacerotidae. pp. 3288-3289 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.

Jordan, D.S. 1907. A review of the fishes of the family Histiopteridae found in the waters of Japan; with a note on Tephritis Günther. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 32(1523): 235-239.

Kim, S.-Y. 2012. Phylogenetic systematics of the family Pentacerotidae (Actinopterygii: Order Perciformes). Zootaxa 3366: 1-111. PDF Open access

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

Steindachner, F. & Döderlein, L. 1883. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Fische Japan's (II). Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 48: 1–40.

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1844. Pisces. 73-112 pls 37-59, 60 (in part) in Siebold, P. Fr. de (ed.). Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(5–6).

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37367008

Depth:40-400 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:42 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map