Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus Castelnau 1879


Other Names: Crested Weedfish, Crested Weed-fish, Golden Weedfish, Yellow-crested Weedfish

A Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus, in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales, December 2015. Source: Ian Shaw / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:

A mottled yellow, brownish, reddish-brown to greenish weedfish, with a distinct dark oblique bar from eye to rear of mouth, and sometimes scattered dark brown spots and faint irregular brown bands on the body. This very cryptic species is often difficult to see amongst the kelp and other macroalgae.

Video of a Yellow Crested Weedfish at Clifton Gardens, Sydney Harbour, March 2014.

Video of a Yellow Crested Weedfish camouflaged amongst kelp.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Cristiceps aurantiacus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1097

Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus Castelnau 1879

More Info


Distribution

Known from temperate waters of the South-west Pacific. Occurs in eastern and western Australia, from Southport, QLD to the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, and from the Recherche Archipelago to Geraldton, Western Australia. Also at Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, and New Zealand.

Inhabits rock pools and subtidal rocky reefs in bays, harbours and along the coast. Yellow Crested Weedfish often occur in kelp beds or other macroalgae, or shelter amongst loose weeds on adjacent sandy areas.

Features

Dorsal fin III, XXIX-XXX, 6-7; Anal fin  II, 24-25; Caudal fin 10 (segmented); Pectoral fin 11; Pelvic fin I, 3; Lateral line 20-22 (arched) + 32-38 (straight); Gill rakers 1-2 + 6-7 = 8-10; Vertebrae 15 (precaudal).

Head length 23-25% SL; eye diameter 3-4% SL; snout length greater than eye diameter, 5-7% SL; mouth to below middle of eye in young, to below and behind rear margin of eye in adults, length 10-12% SL; orbital tentacle simple or with small lateral lobes, length greater than eye diameter, 3.5-5.0 % SL.

First dorsal fin elevated, second fin spine 17-21% SL, fin origin before middle of eye and orbital tentacle, not connected by membrane to base of second dorsal fin; second dorsal-fin origin below or just behind rear edge of preopercle, flaps posteriorly from dorsal-fin spines completely bound in membrane, posterior fin rays usually not elongate or reaching to caudal fin in adults, only rarely to caudal-fin base; last 2 rays of both dorsal fin and anal fin grouped closer together than to previous rays; pelvic fins with a tiny spine and 3 rays, the tip about 2/3 way to anus, inner fin ray more than half length of second ray.

Size

To a maximum total length of 18 cm.

Colour

Reddish-brown, brown, or green, sometimes with scattered dark brown spots; dark brown oblique narrow bar, sometimes with silver leading edge, from underside of eye to just past rear end of jaws; often with 5-6 faint narrow irregular vertical brown bands on side onto dorsal and anal fins; sometimes silver patches anteriorly on side or head; front of 1st dorsal fin dark brown, paler posteriorly; 2nd dorsal and anal fins with broad brown vertical bands or uniformly coloured, usually with clear oval patches between bands and distinct oval spot just before last 2 dorsal-fin rays; pelvic and caudal fins mottled with irregular bands or dark brown with clear or white areas.

Feeding

Carnivore - feeds on small fishes and crustaceans.

Biology

Weedfishes have internal fertilisation and give birth to live young (viviparous).

Species Citation

Cristiceps aurantiacus Castelnau 1879, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 1 3(4): 386. Type locality: Kiama, NSW.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2017

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Yellow Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps aurantiacus Castelnau 1879

References



Castelnau, F.L. de 1879. Essay on the ichthyology of Port Jackson. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 3(4): 347-402

Clements, K.D., Holleman, W. & Williams, J.T. 2014. Cristiceps aurantiacus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T178972A1554122. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T178972A1554122.en. Downloaded on 17 August 2016. 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Hoese, D.F., M.F. Gomon & D.S. Rennis. 2008. Family Clinidae (pp. 696-722). In: Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. 

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Macleay, W.J. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Part 3. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 6(1): 1-138 pls 1-2 (p. 25, as Cristiceps pictus)

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Rennis, D., Hoese, D.F. & Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Clinidae (pp. 741-775, figs 650-684) in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds) The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37416017

Biology:Live bearer

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-30 m

Habitat:Rocky reefs, kelp, seagrass

Max Size:18 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map