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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Batrachoididae
Three-spined toadfish
Batrachomoeus trispinosus

Family Batrachoididae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This ugly fish is commonly encountered on many of our shores, under stones and in coral rubble near reefs and seagrass areas. These fishes have been seen very much alive, although they were out of water at low tide, under large stones.

Features: To about 30cm, those seen about 10-20cm long. The first dorsal fin has 2-3 spines. Distinct greyish-brown bars on the sides, well-contrasted markings on the top of its head. There is a pit behind the upper edge of the pectoral fin base.

Baby toadfishes: An adult toadfish was observed with many tiny fishes under the shelter of a rock. According to the Encyclopedia of Life, in some species, males to look after the eggs after they are laid in the nest, and then protect the embryos until they are self-sufficient, about 3-4 weeks. males call mates to their nest with croaking, hooting, grunting and humming sounds they make using their swim bladder; toadfish also make (different) noises when threatened. Little is known about the behavior or natural history of most toadfishes, but in at least

Sometimes mistaken for stonefish and scorpionfishes. Here's more on how to tell apart fishes that look like stones.

Sisters Island, May 07

Changi, May 09

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11

Sisters Island, May 07

Changi, Apr 04

Parent fish looking after its young?
Beting Bronok, Jul 14
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Closer look at the young fishes.
Beting Bronok, Jul 14
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Three-spined toadfishes on Singapore shores

Photos of Three-spined toadfishes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Ubin, Jul 17
Photo shared by Becky Lee on facebook.


Pulau Tekukor, Jan 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Pulau Semakau, Feb 08
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her flickr.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09



  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
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