Animal Species:Stout Whiting, Sillago robusta Stead, 1908

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.

Stout Whiting from the Hawkesbury River

Stout Whiting from the Hawkesbury River
Photographer: Amanda Hay © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Stout Whiting

Alternative Name/s

School Whiting, Stout Sillago, Yellow Cheek Whiting


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.

Size range

It grows to 30 cm in length.


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.

Sillago robusta

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Stout Whiting specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?


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

Feeding and Diet

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

Economic/social impacts

The Stout Whiting is a commercial and recreational angling species.



What does this mean?

Further Reading

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


  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.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Stout Whiting, Sillago robusta, stocky fish, School Whiting, Stout Sillago, Yellow Cheek Whiting, stripes or bands, 10 cm - 30 cm, endemic to Australia, tropical water, sandy substrates, juveniles in estuaries,