Threespot Waspfish, Neocentropogon trimaculatus Chan 1966

Other Names: Threespotted Waspfish

A Neocentropogon trimaculatus. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A waspfish with brownish stripes on the head radiating from the eye, a large dark blotch behind the upper part of the gill cover, two large dark blotches on the dorsal fin, a whitish pectoral fin with dark blotches, and vertical bands on the caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Neocentropogon trimaculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,

Threespot Waspfish, Neocentropogon trimaculatus Chan 1966

More Info


Timor Sea, NW of The Kimberley, Western Australia, to off the Clarence River, New South Wales. The species is considered to have an anti-equatorial distribution: southern Japan (including East China Sea) to Taiwan, Hong Kong, northern and eastern Australia, New Caledonia, and the Tonga Trench, from depths of 27–500 m.


Dorsal fin XIII-XV, 6-8 (usually XIV, 8); Anal fin III, 6-8 (usually III, 7); Lateral-line pores 21–26; Scale rows in longitudinal series 92–143; Scale rows above lateral line 1–19.
Symphyseal knob unremarkable; postocular spine present; four lowermost pectoral-fin rays elongated; orbit diameter 10.5–14.7% (mean 12.7%) of SL.


Taken as bycatch in trawls.


The specific name trimaculatus is from the Latin tri- (= three) and maculatus (= spotted, marked with spots), in reference to the three prominent dark blotches on this species: one on the body behind the gill cover, and two on the dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Neocentropogon trimaculatus Chan 1966, Annals and Magazine of Natural History 13 8(95/96): 635, fig. 1. Type locality: South China Sea, about 85 miles southeast of Hong Kong, 21°01.6'N, 115°30.0'E, depth 66 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Threespot Waspfish, Neocentropogon trimaculatus Chan 1966


Chan, W.L. 1966. Neocentropogon trimaculatus, a new scorpaenid fish from the South China Sea. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 13 8(95/96): 635-639 

Chungthanawong, S. & Motomura, H. 2021. Review of the waspfish genus Neocentropogon (Tetrarogidae), with a key to genera in the family. Ichthyological Research 68(3): 404-425

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 

Poss, S.G. 1999. Families Scorpaenidae, Caracanthidae, Aploactinidae. pp. 2291-2358 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. 4 pp. 2069-2790. 

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Neocentropogon sp.)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287035

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:27-500 m

Max Size:15 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map