Silver-spotted Weedfish, Heteroclinus argyrospilos Hoese & Pogonoski 2021

Freshly collected holotype of the Silver-spotted Weedfish, Heteroclinus argyrospilos, CSIRO H 7641-01, from south-west of Point D’Entrecasteaux, Western Australia, depth 95-100 m. Source: Karen Gowlett Holmes, Fig. 2A, in Hoese & Pogonoski (2021) Zootaxa 5082(3): 286–293. License: All rights reserved

A mottled reddish-brown weedfish with  irregular dark brown spots scattered on the head, body and dorsal and anal fins, a series of distinct dark reddish-brown vertical bars below the eye, large silver spots ventrally on the sides of the belly,  and smaller silver spots on the head.
The species has an elongate orbital tentacle about equal in length to the eye diameter with a rounded distal lobe. The nasal tentacle is a simple, short flap, about equal to the length of its tubular base. The segmented dorsal-fin rays (two) are well separated from the last dorsal-fin spine.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Heteroclinus argyrospilos in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2023,

Silver-spotted Weedfish, Heteroclinus argyrospilos Hoese & Pogonoski 2021

More Info


Central Great Australian Bight, ~ 300 km west of Ceduna, South Australia, and SW of Point D’Entrecasteaux, Western Australia, at depths of 55-100m. Inhabits deep reefs with sponges and other invertebrates.


Dorsal fin III + XXV, 2; Anal fin II, 17-18; Caudal fin, segmented rays 8; Pectoral fin 11; Pelvic fin I,3; Gill rakers 2 + 7 = 9; Circumorbital head pores 11, uniserial; Vertebrae 13 + 23 = 36; Lateral line, pored scales 17-19.
First segmented dorsal-fin ray well separated from last dorsal-fin spine; orbital tentacle spatulate.


Head and body reddish brown with scattered variably sized, dark brown, irregularly shaped spots; a series of dark brown bars below eye, most breaking into spots immediately below eye; spots and bars with dull white to grey interspaces and a few small silver spots; belly and pectoral-fin base with large, irregularly shaped silver spots, varying from pupil to eye sized; dorsal and anal fins with scattered dark brown spots with translucent patches between spots; caudal fin with three broad vertical dark brown bars; pectoral fin with three dark brown bands; pelvic fin brown at base with two dark cross bars on fin, with silver interspaces.

Similar Species

Differs from other species of Heteroclinus in having the two segmented dorsal-fin rays widely separated from the last dorsal-fin spine.


The specific name argyrospilos is from the Greek argyros (= silver) and spilos (= spot), in reference to the silver spots on the belly, lower surface of head and pectoral-fin base.

Species Citation

Heteroclinus argyrospilos Hoese & Pogonoski 2021, Zootaxa 5082(3): 287, figs 1–3. Type locality: south-west of Point D’Entrecasteaux, 34°53.16’S, 115°30.42’E to 34°53.03’S, 115°29.94’E, Western Australia, 95–100 m. 


Bray, D.J. 2021

Silver-spotted Weedfish, Heteroclinus argyrospilos Hoese & Pogonoski 2021


Hoese, D.F. & Pogonoski, J.J. 2021. Description of a new deep-water species of Heteroclinus (Pisces: Teleostei: Clinidae), from southern Australia. Zootaxa 5082(3): 286–293. 

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37416034

Depth:55-100 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:3.4 cm SL

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