Pencil Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus beddomei (Johnston 1885)

Other Names: Beddome's Rock Whiting, Long-nose Weed Whiting, Long-nose Weed-whiting, Pygmy Rock Whiting, Pygmy Whiting, Slender Weed Whiting

A female Pencil Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus beddomei. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved


A very slender weed whiting with a distinctively elongate snout and body, somewhat like the Tubemouth. Juveniles and females have a prominent black spot near the top of the caudal fin base, while the more colourful males lack the caudal spot, having instead a similarly prominent black spot at the hind edge of each of the fan-like pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Siphonognathus beddomei in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Pencil Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus beddomei (Johnston 1885)

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Endemic to southern Australia from the Gippsland Lakes region, Victoria, to Rottnest Island (or perhaps further north) Western Australia. Inhabits kelp beds, and occasionally occurs in estuaries. Depth range:1–20 m.

Although sometimes found in sparse seagrass this species more usually occurs around rocky reefs with dense brown macroalgae along the open coast. The species also occurs in areas with moderate wave action. Individuals sometimes aggregate and appear to set up cleaning stations to remove external parasites from other fishes.

Species Citation

Odax beddomei Johnston, 1885, Pap. Proc. Roy. Soc. Tas. 1884: 231. Type locality: Derwent River, TAS.


Dianne J. Bray

Pencil Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus beddomei (Johnston 1885)


Allen, G. & Paxton, J.R. 2012. Siphonognathus beddomei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 30 March 2015.

Edgar, G.J., Last, P.R. & Wells, M.W. 1982. Coastal Fishes of Tasmania and Bass Strait. Hobart : Cat & Fiddle Press 175 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Odacidae. pp. 700-710 figs 612-621 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.

Gomon, M.F. & Paxton, J.R. 1986. A revision of the Odacidae, a temperate Australian-New Zealand labroid fish family. Indo-Pacific Fishes 8: 1-57 figs 1-21 pls 1-6 [dated 1985]
Gomon. M.F. 2008. Family Odacidae. pp. 659-667 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. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Johnston, R.M. 1885. Description of a new species of Odax. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1884: 231-232.

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.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37385006

Behaviour:14 cm TL

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Feeding:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated


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CAAB distribution map