Tripodfishes


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Tripodfishes or triplespines are members of the Triacanthidae family. They are distributed in the Indo-Pacific region. They inhabit shallow waters, occurring usually on flat, sandy or weed-covered bottoms. The tripodfishes are recognized by their 5 visible dorsal spines, one rudimentary dorsal spine and only a large spine (no visible rays) as the pelvic fins. They also have a deeply forked caudal fin that separate them from the spikefishes (Triacanthodidae).

Tripodfishes feed on a wide variety of benthic invertebrates.

There are 4 genera and about 7 species of Triacanthidae worldwide. Malaysia has all 4 genera and 6 species.


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Scientific Name: Triacanthus nieuhofi  Bleeker, 1852
English Name: Silver Tripodfish
Local Malay Name: Ikan Lembu Perak, Tunjak Langit, Cagak Langit, Ikan Helicopter
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาวัวหนามสีเงิน (Plā wạw h̄nām s̄ī ngein)
Main Identification Features: Body moderately elongate and strongly compressed. Outline of head between base of rst dorsal-n spine and eyes somewhat convex in front of spine and then straight or slightly concave over eye. 1st dorsal and pelvic spines large and robust. Dorsal-fin base black between 1st and 2nd spines. Caudal fin deeply forked.
Size: Maximum total length 28 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal, over sandy or muddy bottoms. Feeds on benthic invertebrates.






Scientific Name: Tripodichthys blochii  (Bleeker, 1852)
English Name: Long-tail Tripodfish
Local Malay Name: Ikan Lembu Ramping, Tunjak Langit, Cagak Langit, Ikan Helicopter
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาวัว (Plā wạw)
Main Identification Features: Snout relatively long. Pelvis narrow between bases of pelvic-fin spine. Tip of pelvis pointed. Caudal peduncle long. Spiny dorsal-fin membrane pale.
Size: Maximum total length 15 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal, over sandy or muddy bottoms, to 50 m depth. Feeds on benthic invertebrates.





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