Yellow-and-Black Triplefin, Forsterygion flavonigrum

The yellow-and-black triplefin is found in the Southwest Pacific north of New Zealand. Sheltering itself on the ocean floor, it hides in sponge growths where large crevices of overhangs and boulders can be found, usually at depths between 50 – 150 feet.

Common length of this species is 2 inches. At the head, a pale pink tint gradually turns to yellow mid-way of the body then continues yellow to the tail, which is also yellow. The eyes have a black mask-like patch over them with a black stripe that connects at the head and runs the length of the body gradually turning a dark yellow.

The yellow-and-black triplefin feeds on crustaceans, barnacles, worms, and larvae small enough to be consumed.

During spawning the head and tail will turn black, but the rest of the body will be a bright yellow. After breeding the yellow and black triplefin will lose this coloration and return to its normal color quickly. The male of this species is territorial during the breeding process.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Tripterygiidae

Image Credit: Ian Skipworth/Wikipedia