Crested Threefin, Trinorfolkia cristata (Kuiter 1986)

Other Names: Crested Triplefin

A Crested Threefin, Trinorfolkia cristata, at Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A yellowish to greyish-brown triplefin, usually with 6 darker bars on the back and side, a pinkish or dark head with a a pair of dark and pale bars below the eye, a pale to white first dorsal fin, with the first dorsal-fin spine brown with white bands.
Males of this species have a tall first dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Trinorfolkia cristata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 May 2024,

Crested Threefin, Trinorfolkia cristata (Kuiter 1986)

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Endemic to southern Australia, from  Australia, from about Victor Harbor, South Australa, including Kangaroo Island, to Rob island off Cape Le Grande, Western Australia. Inhabits rocky reefs from the intertidal zone to 15 m, on boulders, vertical rock walls, piers and jetties.


Dorsal fin III + XI-XIII + 8-11; anal fin II,16-19; Caudal fi 13; Pectoral fin 15-16; Pelvic fin I,2; Lateral line scales, upper row 20-26, lower row 8-11.
Body depth 19-22% SL; eye diameter ~38% in HL; small fleshy tentacle above eye sometimes with a fine fringe dorsally; anterior nostril tubular with a simple lobate tentacle; head pores large, numerous.
Scales absent from pectoral-fin base; lateral line in two parts, upper section extending to below third dorsal fin.
First dorsal fin much taller than second dorsal fin; third dorsal fin usually with simple rays; pectoral fin large, middle rays long, reaching almost to rear of second dorsal fin.


The specific name is from the Latin cristatus (= crested, combed, tufted) in reference to the tall first dorsal fin of males of this species.

Species Citation

Norfolkia cristata Kuiter, 1986, Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 12(3): 92, figs 4-5. Type locality: Flinders Island, South Australia. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Crested Threefin, Trinorfolkia cristata (Kuiter 1986)


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

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Tripterygiidae. pp. 684-693 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1986. A new genus and three new species of tripterygiid fishes of Australia's south coast. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 12(3): 89-96 9 figs

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Families Blenniidae and Tripterygiidae. pp. 728-740 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Kuiter, R. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

Williams, J. & Holleman, W. 2014. Trinorfolkia cristata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T178939A1550389. Downloaded on 01 December 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37415023

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5.2 cm SL


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