Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus Lesson 1831

Other Names: Black-spot Keeled Pufferfish, Soft Bellied Puffer, Three-tooth Puffer

Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus. Source: Ho Hsuan-Ching . License: All rights reserved

A yellowish-brown pufferfish relative with a large belly flap with a prominent black ocellus or 'eyespot', a long slender pelvis that supports the ventral flap, and teeth fused into a prominent "beak". The beak in the upper jaw is divided into two dental plates, and the lower jaw teeth are fused into a single dental plate.
Threetooth Puffers usually swim with the flap retracted, so that the large ocellus is only visible as small black mark on the abdomen. If threatened, the flap is extended to display the "eyespot".

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J., Triodon macropterus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024,

Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus Lesson 1831

More Info


Southeast of Shark Bay, Western Australia, to east of Sawtell, New South Wales; also in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.


Dorsal fin 10-12; Anal fin 9-10.


When the ventral flap is retracted into the abdominal region, the orientation and raised ridges on the lower scales of the flap form seamless surface on the abdomen.


Bray, D.J.

Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus Lesson 1831


Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled fishes of southern Indonesia and northwestern Australia. Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Australia, Directorate General of Fishes, Indonesia, and German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Federal Republic of Germany. 407 pp.

Johnson, G.D. & Britz, R. 2005. A description of the smallest Triodon on record (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes: Triodontidae). Ichthyological Research 52: 176–181. PDF Open access

Matsuura K (2015) Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progresses in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research 62: 72-113. PDF Open access

Matsuura K, Kaneko A, Katayama E. 2017. Underwater observations of the rare deep-sea fish Triodon macropterus (Actinopterygii, Tetraodontiformes, Triodontidae), with comments on the fine structure of the scales. Ichthyological Research 64:190–196 DOI 10.1007/s10228-016-0555-2

Matsuura, K. & Tyler, J.C. 1997. Tetraodontiform fishes, mostly from deep waters, of New Caledonia. p.173-208. In B. Séret (ed.) Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, vol. 17. no.9. Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 174.

Tyler, J.C. 1967. A redescription of Triodon macropterus Lesson, a phyletically important plectognath fish. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Series C, Biological and Medical Sciences 70: 84–96.

Tyler JC (1980) Osteology, phylogeny, and higher classification of the fishes of the order Plectognathi (Tetraodontiformes). NOAA Tech Rep NMFS CIRC 434: 1–422

Yamanoue Y, Miya M, Matsuura K, Katoh M, Sakai H, Nishida M (2008) A new perspective on phylogeny and evolution of tetraodontiform fishes (Pisces: Acanthopterygii) based on whole mitochondrial genome sequences: basal ecological diversification? BMC Evol Biol 8: 212

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37468001

Danger:Poisonous to eat

Depth:30-300 m


Max Size:54 cm TL

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