Animal Species:Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis (Valenciennes, 1836)

The Crested Weedfish is a small fish that has a high first dorsal fin. It is a cryptic species that usually occurs, as its name would suggest, in areas of seaweed.

 

A Crested Weedfish at Kurnell

Ákos Lumnitzer © Ákos Lumnitzer

Standard Common Name

Crested Weedfish

Identification

The Crested Weedfish has a long, slender body with a large caudal fin and narrow caudal peduncle.

The dorsal fin is divided into two distinct parts. The high first part, which has three spines, originates above the eye and behind the supraorbital tentacles. The long-based second part has 26 to 29 spines followed by 6 to 8 rays.

The colouration of this species is highly variable, with fish often matching their habitats. Crested Weedfish commonly have a band extending down and back from the eye, a white blotch behind the pectoral fin base, and diffuse banding on the body.

Size range

The Crested Weedfish grows to 18 cm in length.

Distribution

The Crested Weedfish occurs primarily in temperate marine waters. It is known from southern Queensland, around the south of the country, including Tasmania, and north to the central coast of Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Cristiceps australis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Crested Weedfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
australis
Genus:
Cristiceps
Family:
Clinidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. Hoese, D.F, Rennis, D.S. & M.F. Gomon. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis, Clinidae, varied colouration, long and skinny, 10 cm - 30 cm, complex pattern, seagrass, marine, large caudal fin,