Three-by-two Garfish, Hemiramphus robustus Günther 1866

Other Names: Flat-sided Garfish, Robust Garfish, Three by Two Garfish, Welsby's Garfish

A Three-by-two Garfish, Hemiramphus robustus, from Western Australia. Source: Chris Dowling / Flickr. License: All rights reserved

A robust garfish with a dark spot on the side below the dorsal fin, a narrow dark margin on the caudal fin, and a yellowish-orange tinge on the dorsal fin and upper caudal-fin lobe.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2024, Hemiramphus robustus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Three-by-two Garfish, Hemiramphus robustus Günther 1866

More Info


Carnac Island, Western Australia, to Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.
Inhabits bays, estuaries and inshore coastal waters, often in turbid areas.


Dorsal fin 13-15; Anal fin 11-14; Vertebrae: 52-55. 
Dorsal fin with well-developed anterior lobe, pigmented on anterior part; body width 1.3-1.8 times its depth; scales absent on upper jaw; preorbital ridge absent.


The vernacular name Three-by-two garfish is apparently an allusion to the similarity of this species to a 3-inch by 2-inch plank of wood.


The specific name is from the Latin robustus (= fat, stout).

Species Citation

Hemiramphus robustus Günther 1866, Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum Vol. 6: 270. Type locality: Long Island, Van Diemen's Land (= Tasmania).


Bray, D.J. 2024


Atlas of Living Australia

Three-by-two Garfish, Hemiramphus robustus Günther 1866


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. 

Blaber, S.J.M., J.W. Young and M.C. Dunning, 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266.

Collette, B.B. 1974. The garfishes (Hemiramphidae) of Australia and New Zealand. Records of the Australian Museum 29(2): 11-105 figs 1-23

Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Hemiramphidae. pp. 2180-2196 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. 

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

Günther, A. 1866. Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Salmonidae, Percopsidae, Galaxidae, Mormyridae, Gymnarchidae, Esocidae, Umbridae, Scombresocidae, Cyprinodontidae, in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 6 368 pp. See ref at BHL (as Hemirhamphus robustus)

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds). The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth, Western Australia : Aqua Research and Monitoring Company.

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

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762 

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 

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 (as Hemiramphus robustus and H. welsbyi)

Ogilby, J.D. 1908. Descriptions of new Queensland fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 21: 87-98  (described as Hemirhamphus welsbyi, type locality Moreton Bay, Queensland) See ref at BHL

Parin, N.V., Collette, B.B. & Shcherbachev, Y.N. 1980. Preliminary review of the marine halfbeaks (Hemiramphidae, Beloniformes) of the tropical Indo-west Pacific. Trudy Instituta Okeanologii. Akademiya Nauk SSSR. Moskva 97: 7-173 figs 1-47 [in Russian] 

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37234013

Depth:1-30 m

Habitat:Pelagic inshore, estuaries

Max Size:32 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map