Sand Whiting, Sillago ciliata Click to enlarge image
A school of Sand Whiting at a depth of 1 m, Fairy Bower, Manly, Sydney, New South Wales, 1 December 2013. Image: Nick Dawkins
© Nick Dawkins

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    ciliata
    Genus
    Sillago
    Family
    Sillaginidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
  • Size Range
    The Sand Whiting grows to 50 cm in length.

Introduction

Sometimes called the Blue-nose Whiting, it is an important commercial and recreational species. The Sand Whiting is commonly found in bays, estuaries and beyond the breakers off surf beaches.

Identification

The Sand Whiting has a short-based spiny dorsal fin and a long-based soft dorsal fin. The lateral line is gently curved above the pectoral fin.

The species is silver-grey above and white below. The ventral and anal fins are yellow. There is a dusky spot on the pectoral fin base.

Habitat

It is found in bays, estuaries and beyond the breakers off surf beaches. Juveniles live in seagrass beds and are sometimes seen in small aggregations on sandy slopes.

Distribution

The Sand Whiting is known from northern Queensland to Tasmania, including Lord Howe Island. It also occurs in Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.



Economic impacts

It is an important commercial and recreational species.

References

  1. Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H., & G.P. Whitley. 1976. Annotated checklist of the Fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum. 30: 365-454.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.