Enneapterygius melanospilus (Omani blackspot triplefin)


The Omani blackspot triplefin (Enneapterygius melanospilus) is a small and inconspicuous fish. However triplefins are easily recognized by having 3 separate dorsal fins. Determining the species is tricky because at least 125 are described by science, and they are usually poorly covered in fish guides. The Omani blackspot triplefin is white to light brown with 6 vertical bars, red to brown in color, and 1 or two vertical lines on the head. The bars get darker towards the tail. The body is covered in white to blue speckling, and when the second dorsal fin is upright, it shows a dark black spot encircled by a fine orange line.


Stated as Least Concern according to the IUCN Red list. Enneapterygius melanospilus is endemic to the southern region of Oman. It is only known from a few type specimens. However, there are no known threats to this species, and it occurs in several marine protected areas. It is listed as Least Concern. It is recommended that more research be done on population, habitat, and taxonomy.


They are found in the Western Indian Ocean, only in the southern regions on the Arabian Sea and Omani coastline. They prefer shallow sand, rubble and rocky bottoms, in a depth range of 3-9 meters.


Eggs are shaped as half spheres and covered in threads that anchor them in the algae on the nesting sites. Larvae are planktonic which occur primarily in shallow, nearshore waters.


Up to 3 cm.

Prey / Predation

They feed on small isopods and copepods.

Special features

hopefully more species of triplefin will be better studied in the future to get better insight in genera and species.