Longray Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus radiatus (Quoy & Gaimard 1834)

Other Names: Bridled Rock Whiting, Bridled Weed Whiting, Longray Rock Whiting, Long-ray Weed Whiting, Long-ray Weed-whiting, Long-rayed Rock Whiting, Long-rayed Weed Whiting, Stranger

A male Longray Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus radiatus. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved


A slender weed whiting with a comparatively short snout and relatively deep caudal peduncle. Males are dark green above, paler below, with narrow blue lines on the head, narrow blue stripes on the vertical fins, a series of black blotches on the dorsal-fin base, and yellow pelvic fins. Mature males have a filamentous first dorsal fin ray that is noticeably longer than the following finrays.

Juveniles and females are greenish-grey, brown or reddish above, pale below, with a pearly stripe along the head and side, and brown stripe above it on head, and darker irregular brown bands and blotches in larger fish. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. 2018, Siphonognathus radiatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 May 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/305

Longray Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus radiatus (Quoy & Gaimard 1834)

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia from Port Phillip, Victoria, to Green Head, Western Australia, including Flinders Island and northern Tasmania. Inhabits coastal seagrass beds and weedy areas usually at depths above 10 m. In Western Australia, the Longray Weed Whiting is usually found amongst Posidonia sinuosa, P. coriacea and Amphibolis griffithii.


Dorsal fin XVII- XX, 11-13; Anal fin III, 9-11; Caudal fin 12-14; Pectoral fin 12-14; Pelvic fin I, 4; Lateral-line scales 38-42.  
Body shallow (13-15% SL), elongate, compressed; caudal peduncle moderately shallow (caudal peduncle depth 43-60% caudal peduncle length). Head moderately elongate (27-36% SL), snout moderately elongate (27-54% HL), pointed; eyes small (17-24% HL); mouth small (upper jaw length 18-28% HL), horizontal, reaching just more than half way to front edge of eye; teeth mostly fused into pavement like beak.  
Scales moderately small, cycloid, covering body and much of head including most of opercle and cheek, predorsal scales reaching forward to, or in advance of, forward edge of eye; lateral line nearly straight, but with low dorsal curve above pectoral fin.  
Single dorsal fin with long base and uniform height except in males with front end produced into peak; anal fin just more than one third length of dorsal, of uniform height; caudal fin pointed. Pectoral fins rounded. Pelvic fins small, first ray prolonged in males, arising slightly behind and below pectoral fin base. 


Juveniles and females greenish grey, brown or red above, whitish below, with pearly stripe along head and side, and brown stripe above it on head;  larger individuals with dark, usually brown irregular bands and blotches. Males dark green above, light green below, an abrupt separation midlaterally; head and sides with narrow blue horizontal lines;  dorsal, anal and caudal fins green to yellow with narrow blue lines, dorsal with series of prominent black blotches near center of base edged with blue and bordered by orange and black stripes; ventral fin yellow with brown streaks.


Feeds mostly on crustaceans and molluscs, includsing gammarid and caprellid amphipods, harpacticoid copepods, carid decapods, tanaids and mytilid bivalves. 


Occasionally taken as bycatch in trawls.

Similar Species

The Longray Weed Whiting has fewer total scales in the lateral line than the Blue Weed Whiting, Haletta semifasciata (42-44, versus 50-65), and mature males have a filamentous first dorsal finray that is noticeably longer than subsequent rays rather than distinctly shorter (as in the Blue Weed Whiting).

Species Citation

Malacanthus radiatus Quoy & Gaimard 1834. Voyage l'Astrolabe ... 1826–1829, Zoologie 9(3): 717, pl. 19 (2). Type locality: Adelaide, South Australia (neotype).


Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Longray Weed Whiting, Siphonognathus radiatus (Quoy & Gaimard 1834)


Castelnau, F.L. de 1873. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 4. Fishes of South Australia. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 2: 59-82 (as Odax pusillus)

Castelnau, F.L. de 1875. Researches on the fishes of Australia. Intercolonial Exhibition Essays. 2. pp. 1–52 in, Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 : Official Record. Melbourne. (as Pseudoscarus dumerilii)

Clements, K.D., Alfaro, M.E., Fessler, J.L. & Westneat, M.W. 2004. Relationships of the temperate Australasian labrid fish tribe Odacini (Perciformes; Teleostei). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 575–587.

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 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. 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. 

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 

Günther, A. 1862. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Acanthopterygii Pharyngognathi and Anacanthini in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 4 534 pp. (as Odax frenatus)

Hutchins, J.B. 2005. Checklist of marine fishes of Recherche Archipelago and adjacent mainland waters. pp. 425-449 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I. & Kendrick, G.A. (eds). Proceedings of the Twelfth International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Esperance, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

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. 

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. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398. 

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

MacArthur, L.D. & Hyndes, G.A. 2001. Differential use of seagrass assemblages by a suite of odacid species. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 52: 79-90.  

MacArthur, L.D. & Hyndes, G.A. 2007. Varying foraging strategies of Labridae in seagrass habitats: herbivory in temperate seagrass meadows? Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 340: 247-258.

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Pollard, J. (ed.) 1980. G.P. Whitley's Handbook of Australian Fishes. North Sydney : Jack Pollard Publishing Pty Ltd 629 pp. 

Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1834. Voyage de Découvertes de l'Astrolabe, exécuté par ordre du Roi pendant les années 1826–1829, sous le Commandement de M.J. Dumont d'Urville. Zoologie Vol. 9 Part 3 Poissons. pp. 647–720 pls 1–20 Paris. 

Russell, B., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., Rocha, L.A., Myers, R., Lazuardi, M.E., Muljadi, A., Pardede, S. & Rahardjo, P. 2012. Siphonognathus radiatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T190683A17774568. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T190683A17774568.en. Downloaded on 20 July 2018.

Scott, J.K. 1976. A review of the fish genus Neoodax (Odacidae) of Western Australia with description of a closely allied new genus and species. Records of the Western Australian Museum 4: 349-373.

Swainston, R. 2011. Swainston's Fishes of Australia: The complete illustrated guide. Camberwell, Victoria : Penguin Australia 836 pp. 

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1839. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 13 505 pp. pls 369-388. (as Cheilio lineatus)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37385007

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-18 m

Habitat:Seagrass beds

Max Size:21 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map