PORT PHILLIP BAY


Common Weedfish 

Heteroclinus perspicillatus (Valenciennes, 1836)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: III, XXXI-XXXIV, 3-5
Anal fin spines/rays: II, 21-26
Caudal fin rays: (segmented) 10-12
Pectoral fin rays: 12-14
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 3
Lateral line: (arched) 14-26 + (straight) 0-25
Gill rakers: 1-3 + 5-7 = 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:
perspicillatus

General Description

Body slender, compressed; orbital tentacle with a number of lobes; last fin spine of first dorsal connected by membrane to base of second dorsal-fin; dorsal-fin spines usually with free unbranched tips; anal-fin membranes deeply incised. Colour variable, often reddish-brown or greenish, with about 7 broken bars extending onto dorsal and anal fins; sometimes uniformly dark; a large black spot present below first dorsal fin on each side; a black bar from below eye to upper jaw. To 20 cm.

Biology

This is the most common weedfish in seagrass beds in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

Habitat

Amongst rocks, seagrass and algae in bays, tides pools and along the coast in depths of 0-10 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

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

20 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to 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, Common Weedfish, Heteroclinus perspicillatus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 22 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6403

Text: creative commons cc by licence