Golden Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus Click to enlarge image
A Golden Weedfish at a depth of 8 m, Shelly beach, Sydney, May 2009. Image: Melissa Fiene
© Melissa Fiene

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    aurantiacus
    Genus
    Cristiceps
    Family
    Clinidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 18 cm in length.

Introduction

The Yellow Crested Weedfish usually occurs in areas of seaweed. Its behaviour and colouration make the species hard to observe.

Identification

The Yellow Crested Weedfish has a tall first dorsal fin that originates in front of both the eye and the supraorbital tentacle. The second dorsal fin has a long base. There is often a gap between the second last and third last dorsal fin rays. The colouration of this species can vary from brown to yellow or orange, sometimes with touches of pink. Juveniles are paler and may have faint bars.

Three species of Cristiceps are recorded from Australia. The Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis, has a lower first dorsal fin that originates over the eye (not in front of it) and behind the supraorbital tentacle. The Silverside Weedfish, Cristiceps argyropleura, has a triangular first dorsal fin that is attached to the second dorsal fin by a membrane.

Habitat

The species lives among kelp on rocky reefs.

Distribution

The species is known from the southern coast of Queensland to Bass Strait and around the south-western 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.



References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  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. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Springer, V.G. in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press [1995]. Pp. 240.