Netted Toby, Canthigaster papua (Bleeker 1848)

Other Names: False-eye Puffer, False-eyed Puffer, Solander's Toby, Solandri's Sharpnose Pufferfish

A Netted Toby, Canthigaster papua, at Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, October 2020. Source: Alex Hoschke / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A brownish toby covered in numerous small bluish-green spots, black-edged bluish-green lines radiating from the eye, lower side of head with two (rarely three) longitudinal blue lines, an orange chin (adults), longitudinal light blue lines between the eye and the dorsal-fin origin, and a blue-edged black blotch on the dorsal-fin base.
This species may be confused with Solander's Toby, Canthigaster solandri.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Canthigaster papua in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Sep 2023,

Netted Toby, Canthigaster papua (Bleeker 1848)

More Info


Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef to Lady Musgrave Island, Queensland, including reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the east-Indo-west Pacific: Myanmar, Andaman Islands and Indonesia east to Palau, New Ireland (Papua New Guinea) and Solomon Islands, south New Caledonia.


Dorsal fin 8-10; Anal fin 8-10; Pectoral fin 16-18.


Small juvenile Common Coral Trout (Plectropomus leopardus) and Barcheek Coral Trout (Plectropomus marginatus) may avoid predators by mimicing the poisonous Netted Toby.

Species Citation

Tetraodon papua Bleeker 1848, Journal of the Indian Archipelago & Eastern Asia 2(9): 638. Type locality: Bima, Sumbawa Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Netted Toby, Canthigaster papua (Bleeker 1848)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 (as Canthigaster solandri

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292. (as Canthigaster solandri) Allen, G.R. & J.E.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

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. (as a synonym of Canthigaster solandri)

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.) Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106 (as Canthigaster solandri

Bleeker, P. 1848. A contribution to the knowledge of the ichthyological fauna of Sumbawa. Journal of the Indian Archipelago & Eastern Asia 2(9): 632-639 See ref online

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp. (as Canthigaster solandri
Frisch, A.J. 2006. Are juvenile coral-trouts (Plectropomus) mimics of poisonous pufferfishes (Canthigaster) on coral reefs? Marine Ecology 27: 247–252.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp. (as Canthigaster solandri)

Herre, A.W.C.T. 1924. Poisonous and worthless fishes. An account of the Philippine plectognaths. Philippine Journal of Science 25(1): 415-511

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. (as Canthigaster solandri)

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105 (as Canthigaster solandri)

Shao, K., Liu, M., Jing, L., Hardy, G., Leis, J.L. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Canthigaster papua. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193623A2248957. Accessed on 28 March 2022.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467042


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-35 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm SL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map