Southern Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis Valenciennes 1836


Other Names: Crested Weedfish, Weed Fish

A Southern Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis, at Jawbone Marine Reserve, Port Phillip, Victoria, March 2010. Source: Sarah Speight / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:

Southern Crested Weedfish are well-camouflaged amongst macroalgae and seagrasses, and vary widely in in colour. They are brown to yellow or green, either plain or with large pale blotches on the fins, and a distinct dark oblique bar with a silver leading edge from the eye to the rear of the mouth.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. 2020, Cristiceps australis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Sep 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/1098

Southern Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis Valenciennes 1836

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to the southern half of Australia, from about Port Macquarie, New South Wales, to the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, including Tasmania. Inhabits macroalgae on rocky reefs and seagrass beds in bays and estuaries, subtidally to 30 m. Juveniles are common in seagrass beds, or may shelter amongst detached algae and seagrass leaves.

Features

Dorsal fin III, XXVII-XXIX, 6-8; Anal fin II, 24-26; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 9-11; Pectoral fin 10-11; Pelvic fin I, 3; Lateral line (arched) 14-21 + (straight) 32-34; Gill rakers 1-2 + 5-7 = 8-9; Vertebrae (precaudal) 14.

Body long, slender, strongly compressed, tail base very narrow; head length 27-29% SL; eye diameter 4-6% SL; snout length about equal to eye diameter, 5-6% SL; mouth reaching to below middle of eye in juveniles, to well behind eye in adults, length 11-14% SL.

Orbital tentacle simple, elongated and pointed, about equal in length to eye diameter, 4-5% SL.


Dorsal fin in two parts, the first tall, short-based, arising above middle of eye, rarely just in front of orbital tentacle, 2nd spine length 11-15% SL, not connected to the long-based second dorsal fin. Second dorsal-fin origin origin above posterior half of operculum, hind membrane of second dorsal fin connected to middle of tail base, skin flaps with free tips extending posteriorly from fin spines, posterior fin rays elongated, fin tips extending to caudal fin in adults. Pelvic fins with a tiny spine and three rays, tip of fin reaching to or just before anus, innner fin ray less than half length of 2nd ray..

Size

To a maximum total length of 30 cm.

Colour

Reddish-brown, brown, or green, sometimes with scattered small brown spots; dark brown oblique narrow bar, often with silver leading edge, from underside of eye to just past rear end of jaws; side often with 5-6 faint narrow vertical brown bands onto dorsal and anal fins; usually with series of small silver or white spots along or just below midside; front of 1st dorsal fin dark brown to black; 2nd dorsal and anal fins mottled, forming irregular horizontal stripes, or with broad brown vertical bands and clear interspaces; tip of 2nd dorsal fin white; small dark brown spot basally in middle of dark band on 2nd dorsal fin and sometimes anal fin; pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins mottled with irregular bands or dark brown with clear or white areas.

Feeding

Carnivore

Etymology

The specific name is from the Latin australis (= southern) in reference to the southern Australian distribution of this species.

Species Citation

Cristiceps australis Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1836 Hist. Nat. Poiss. 11: 336. Type locality: upper Derwent River, Tasmania.

Author

Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Southern Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis Valenciennes 1836

References


  • Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 2. Note on some South Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 243-248 (described as Christiceps splendens)
  • Castelnau, F.L. de 1873. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 3. Supplement to the fishes of Victoria. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 2: 37-58 (described as Cristiceps howittii)
  • 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 (described as Cristiceps macleayi) See ref at BHL
  • Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2nd edn, 624 pp.
  • Ferrell, D.J. , McNeill, S.E., Worthington, D.G. & Bell, J.D. 1993. Temporal and spatial variation in the abundance of fish associated with the seagrass Posidonia australis in South-eastern Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 44: 881-899.  https://doi.org/10.1071/MF9930881
  • Fishelson, L. & Gon, O. 2009. Comparison of the ovaries and oogenesis of some Australian and South African viviparid clinid fishes (Clinidae, Blennioidei, Perciformes). Environmental Biology of Fishes 86: 527–540. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-009-9551-y
  • Hindell, J.S., Jenkins, G.P. & Keough, M.J. 2000. Variability in abundances of fishes associated with seagrass habitats in relation to diets of predatory fishes. Marine Biology 136(4): 725-737.
  • Hoese, D.F., Gomon, M.F. & Rennis, D.S. 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.
  • Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.
  • Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. 180 pp.
  • Jackson, G. & Jones, G.K. 1999. Spatial and temporal variation in nearshore fish and macro-invertebrate assemblages from a temperate Australian estuary over a decade. Marine Ecology Progress Series 182: 253-268.
  • Jenkins, G.P. & Wheatley, M.J. 1998. The influence of habitat structure on nearshore fish assemblages in a southern Australian embayment: Comparison of shallow seagrass, reef-algal and unvegetated sand habitats, with emphasis on their importance to recruitment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 221(2): 147-172, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-0981(97)00121-4.
  • 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. New Holland. 433 pp.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.
  • Langtry, S.K. & Jacoby, C.A. 1996. Fish and decapod crustaceans inhabiting drifting algae in Jervis Bay, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Ecology 21: 264-271. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.1996.tb00608.x
  • Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 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.
  • Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.
  • 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 (described as Cristiceps pallidus) See ref at BHL
  • Rennis, D., Hoese, D.F. & Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Clinidae. pp. 741-775, figs 650-684B 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.
  • Richardson, J. 1846. Description of six fish taken by the officers of the Beagle on the coasts of Australia. 484-497 pls 1-4 in Stokes, J.L. (ed.) Discoveries in Australia. London : T. & W. Boone Vol. 1. (described as Cristiceps axillaris)
  • Scott, E.O.G. 1966. Observations on Tasmanian fishes: Pt. XIV. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 100: 93-116 See ref online.
  • Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs.
  • Smith, T.M., Hindell, J.S., Jenkins, G.P. & Connolly, R.M. 2008. Edge effects on fish associated with seagrass and sand patches. Marine Ecology Progress Series 359: 203–213.
  • Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.
  • Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1836. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 11 506 pp. pls 307-343. See ref at BHL
  • Williams, J., Holleman, W. & Clements, K.D. 2014. Cristiceps australis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T179042A1562789. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T179042A1562789.en. Downloaded on 17 August 2016.
  • Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37416007

    Biology:Live bearer

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:0-40 m

    Habitat:Reef associated, macroalgae, seagrass

    Max Size:30 cm TL

    Native:Endemic

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