Banded Weedfish, Heteroclinus whiteleggii (Ogilby 1894)

Other Names: Long-nosed Weed-fish, Whitelegg's Weedfish

A Banded Weedfish, Heteroclinus whiteleggii, at Guerilla Bay, Batemans Marine Park, New South Wales. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC By Attribution

Highly variable in colour, ranging from dark brown to olive-green or pink, usually with darker wavy bands or saddles extending onto the dorsal fin, often a broad dark midlateral stripe from the upper jaw to the caudal peduncle, and a series of white spots or dashes along the lower sides.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Heteroclinus whiteleggii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2020,

Banded Weedfish, Heteroclinus whiteleggii (Ogilby 1894)

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Endemic to eastern Australia, from Point Cartwright, Queensland, to Nullica Bay, New South Wales. Inhabits tidepools, rock platforms and shallow algal-covered reefs.


Dorsal fin III + XXVI-XXVIII, 3-4; Anal fin II, 18-22; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 10-12; Pectoral fin 11-13; Pelvic fin I, 3; Lateral line scales 20-26 + 22-23.
Body compressed; tentacle above eye short, broad; nasal tentacle small, weakly lobed. 
Body covered in tiny cycloid scales; anterior portion of lateral line with a scale on each pore, posterior section with a scale between the pores.
Dorsal fin in two parts, anterior section low, with membrane connecting long-based spinous second part, with 3-4 soft rays at end of fin; anal fin similar; pelvic fin-rays thickened, finger-like.

Species Citation

Clinus whiteleggii Ogilby, 1894, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 2 9(2): 371. Type locality: Jervis Bay, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Banded Weedfish, Heteroclinus whiteleggii (Ogilby 1894)


Fricke, R., McEachran, J. & Williams, J.T. 2010. Heteroclinus whiteleggii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154943A4673560. Downloaded on 10 January 2019.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. (as Heteroclinus fasciatus and H. whiteleggi)

Larson, H.K. 2001. Clinidae. pp. 3536-3537 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

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 (as Cristiceps fasciatus)

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

McCulloch, A.R. 1908. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 1. Records of the Australian Museum 7(1): 36-43 pls 10-11 (as Petraites fasciatus)

Ogilby, J.D. 1894. Description of five new fishes from the Australasian region. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 2 9(2): 367-374.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37416024

Biology:Live bearer

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL


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