PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern School Whiting 

Sillago bassensis Cuvier, 1829

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XI-XII; I, 18-19
Anal fin spines/rays: II, 18-20
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 15-16
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 66-73

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.
Small to medium-sized, bottom dwelling fishes with conical snouts, small mouths, two separate dorsal fins, a weakly forked tail, and small scales. Schooling fishes on sandy or silty bottoms in bays, estuaries and along the coast to about 50 m. They are restricted to the Indo-Pacific and are important commercial and recreational fishes. Excellent eating.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Sillaginidae
Genus:
Sillago
Species:
bassensis

General Description

Body long, slender, covered in small scales. Sandy brown to pink above, whitish below with an indistinct midlateral silver stripe. To 33 cm.

Biology

A common species in the more sheltered waters of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Considered very good eating.

Habitat

In bays around sandbanks, and in sheltered coastal waters, in depths of 0-40 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia, including western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Whitings

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

33 cm

Commercial Species

Yes

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, Southern School Whiting, Sillago bassensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6462

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