Stout Whiting, Sillago robusta Click to enlarge image
A Stout Whiting caught on hook and line by H. Recher, near Dangar Island, Hawkesbury River, July 2009. Image: Amanda Hay
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    robusta
    Genus
    Sillago
    Family
    Sillaginidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
  • Size Range
    It grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

As its common name suggests, the Stout Whiting is a stockier species than the more common Sand Whiting. The species is normally found in at depths between 10 m and 70 m, but juveniles and young fish often enter shallow estuaries.

Identification

The Stout Whiting has a midlateral silvery stripe along the side of the body and a yellow blotch on the cheek. The first dorsal fin has 11 spines. The first spine is dark brown to black. The second dorsal fin has 1 spine and 16 to 18 rays. The anal fin has 2 spines and 16 to 19 rays.

The species has a shorter snout than the more common Sand Whiting, Sillago ciliata.

Habitat

Adult Stout Whiting occur on sandy substrates in depths between 10 m and 70 m. Juveniles enter estuaries.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia occuring from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south on the east coast to southern New South Wales.

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



Feeding and diet

Juveniles feed on crustaceans such as copepods and mycids. Adults consume more polychaetes.

Economic impacts

The Stout Whiting is a commercial and recreational angling species.

References

  1. McKay, R.J. 1992. Sillaginid Fishes of the World (Family Sillaginidae). An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of the Sillago, Smelt or Indo-Pacific Whiting Species. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol 14. FAO, Rome. Pp. 87.

Further reading

  1. NSW DPI Fisheries. Stout Whiting (Sillago robusta) fact sheet. Status of Fisheries Resources in NSW 2006/07. Pp. 3.