Shortnose Tripodfish, Triacanthus biaculeatus (Bloch 1786)

Other Names: Black-finned Triple-spine, Blacktail Tripodfish, Sharp-nosed Tripodfish, Shortnosed Tripodfish, Short-nosed Tripod-fish, Silver Leather-jacket, Triplespine, Triple-spine

A Shortnose Tripodfish, Triacanthus biaculeatus. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A tripodfish with the a very dark membrane on the spinous dorsal fin between the first and third spines (and usually also between the third to fifth spines), and a slightly convex to straight head profile from above the eye to the dorsal-fin origin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Triacanthus biaculeatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2022,

Shortnose Tripodfish, Triacanthus biaculeatus (Bloch 1786)

More Info


Northern Australia, from Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, to the Burdekin River, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.

Species Citation

Balistes biaculeatus Bloch 1786, Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische Vol. 2: 17, pl. 148(2). Type locality: East Indies


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Shortnose Tripodfish, Triacanthus biaculeatus (Bloch 1786)


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. 

Bloch, M.E. 1786. Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin : J. Morino Vol. 2 160 pp. pls 145-180. 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

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

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp. 

Jeyaseelan, M.J.P. 1998. Manual of fish eggs and larvae from Asian mangrove waters. UNESCO, Paris, 193 pp.

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 

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls. 

Matsuura, K. 2001. Triacanthodidae, Triacanthidae, Balistidae. pp. 3902-3928 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. 

Oken, L. 1817. V. Klasse Fische. Isis (Muenchen) 8(148): 1181-1183
Ramm, D.C., Pender, P.J., Willing, R.S. & Buckworth, R.C. 1990. Large-scale spatial patterns of abundance within the assemblage of fish caught by prawn trawlers in Northern Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41(1): 79-95.

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. 

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1850. Pisces. In, Siebold, P. Fr de (ed.) Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4 324 pp. 144 pls. (as Triacanthus brevirostris)

Tyler, J.C. 1968. A monograph on plectognath fishes of the superfamily Triacanthoidea. Monographs of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 16: 1-364 figs 1-209

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37464002

Depth:0-60 m

Max Size:30 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map