PORT PHILLIP BAY


Little Weed Whiting 

Neoodax balteatus (Valenciennes, 1840)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XV-XVII, 11-14
Anal fin spines/rays: II-III, 11-14
Caudal fin rays: 12
Pectoral fin rays: 13-16
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 4
Lateral line: 33-38

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
Usually long, slender colourful fishes with a single long-based dorsal fin, well-developed pectoral fins used for swimming, thick lips, jaws with well-developed canine teeth and crushing molars on the bones at the bases of the gill arches. Many are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that they change sex from female to male.

Recent molecular studies indicate the Labridae is not a natural group without the inclusion of the Weed whitings (formerly Odacidae) and Parrotfishes (formerly Scaridae).

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Labridae
Subfamily:
Odacinae
Genus:
Neoodax
Species:
balteatus

General Description

Body slender, compressed, with long based, low dorsal and anal fins; snout pointed; jaw teeth fused into a beak. Juveniles and females greenish to brown above, with a dark stripe from the snout tip to the tail base, whitish below. Males reddish-brown or bluish with red and blue wavy lines on the head and blue fin margins. To 16 cm.

Biology

A common species in Port Phillip Bay, although adults are often in deeper seagrass beds and not usually seen by divers.

Habitat

In bays, estuaries and along the coast, in seagrass beds and on rocky reefs, in depths of 1-22 m.

Reefs

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Wrasses, rock whitings and allies

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

16 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Little Weed Whiting, Neoodax balteatus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 16 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4609

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