PORT PHILLIP BAY


Short-tassel Weedfish 

Heteroclinus flavescens (Hutton, 1872)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XXXVI-XXXXIX, 6-8
Anal fin spines/rays: II, 27-29
Caudal fin rays: (segmented) 12
Pectoral fin rays: 12-14
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 3
Lateral line: (arched) 14-22 + (straight) 0-6
Gill rakers: 2-3 + 5-8 = 7-10

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.
Mostly small well-camouflaged cryptic fishes with finger-like pelvic fins on the underside of the head and a long-based spinous dorsal fin joined to a short soft-rayed portion. The spinous part begins with several stiff spines, and the soft-rayed part contains up to 6 rays. Head often with orbital and nasal tentacles. They have internal fertilization and give birth to live young.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Clinidae
Genus:
Heteroclinus
Species:
flavescens

General Description

Body slender, compressed; dorsal fin not subdivided into two, anterior dorsal-fin spines low, hind margin of dorsal fin connected to base of tail fin; orbital tentacle simple, very short to absent. Head and body brown, with two or three dark bars extending from behind each eye to gill cover; a black oval spot sometimes below first dorsal fin; dorsal, anal, and tail dark with white tips; pectoral fins with basal quarter dark, remainder with spots forming transverse bands. To 14 cm.

Biology

A rare species in Victorian waters.

Habitat

Amongst vegetation in bays, along the coast and in tide pools, in depths of 0-20 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

New Zealand and south-eastern Australia, including western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Weedfishes and snakeblennies

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

14 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

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

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, Short-tassel Weedfish, Heteroclinus flavescens, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6397

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