Animal Species:Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus (Castelnau, 1879)

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

Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus

Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus
Photographer: Melissa Fiene  © Melissa Fiene

Standard Common Name

Yellow Crested Weedfish

Alternative Name/s

Crested Weedfish, Golden Weedfish


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.

Size range

The species grows to 18 cm in length.

Similar Species

Crested Weedfish, Silverside Weedfish


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.

Cristiceps aurantiacus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Yellow Crested Weedfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


The species lives among kelp on rocky reefs.



What does this mean?


  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.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Golden Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus, weed, seaweed, seagrass, kelp, Ecklonia, Clinidae, Yellow Crested Weedfish, yellow, odd-shaped, 10 cm - 30 cm, vertical band above and below eye, rocky reef, marine, tall first dorsal fin,