Clown Toby, Canthigaster callisterna (Ogilby 1889)

Other Names: Clown Toado

A Clown Toby, Canthigaster callisterna, at Malabar, Sydney, New South Wales, 1 September 2013. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A large sharpnosed puffer with a greenish-brown upper body covered in dark spots, dashes and lines, a broad white midlateral stripe bounded by broad dark stripes that continue onto the upper and lower caudal fin rays, and a pale belly with blue spots. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Canthigaster callisterna in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Clown Toby, Canthigaster callisterna (Ogilby 1889)

More Info


Byron Bay to Montague Island, New South Wales; also Lord Howe Island and Elizabeth Reef, and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species occurs in New Zealand and New Caledonia. Inhabits coastal and offshore reefs.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin 11; Anal fin 10 or 11 (usually 10); Pectoral fin 17 or 18.

Species Citation

Tetrodon callisternus Ogilby 1889, Mem. Aust. Mus. 2(3): 74, pl. 3(5). Type locality: Lord Howe Island.


Dianne J. Bray

Clown Toby, Canthigaster callisterna (Ogilby 1889)


Allen, G.R. & Randall, J.E. 1977. Review of the sharpnose pufferfishes (subfamily Canthigasterinae) of the Indo-Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum 30(17): 475-517 figs 1-15

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Eddy, T.D. 2011. Recent observations of reef fishes at the Kermadec Islands marine reserve, New Zealand. N. Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 45(1): 153-159.

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pac. Sci. 47(2): 136-170.

Francis, M.P., R.V. Grace & C.D. Paulin. 1987. Coastal fishes of the Kermadec Islands. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 21(1): 1-13.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Matsuura, K. 1986. A new sharpnose pufferfish, Canthigaster flavoreticulata, collected from the South Pacific. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 33(3): 223-224.

Matsuura, K. 2001. Ostraciidae, Aracanidae, Triodontidae, Tetraodontidae. pp. 3948-3957 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. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Matsuura, K. & J.C. Tyler. 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.

Ogilby, J.D. 1889. The reptiles and fishes of Lord Howe Island. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 2(3): 51-74 pls 2-3.

Paulin, C., A. Stewart, C. Roberts & P. McMillan. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series No. 19. 279 p.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467038


Depth:10-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:23 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map