Wedgehead Siphonfish, Siphamia cuneiceps Whitley 1941

Other Names: Siphon Fish, Wedge-headed Siphon-fish

A Wedgehead Siphonfish, Siphamia cuneiceps, at Coogee, Perth region, Western Australia, July 2019. Source: Glen Whisson / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A coppery brown siphonfish with a distinctly elongate body, and a pointed snout with the lower jaw jutting out beyond the upper jaw. The species lacks developed rakers on the upper limb of the first gill arch.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Siphamia cuneiceps in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024,

Wedgehead Siphonfish, Siphamia cuneiceps Whitley 1941

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Rockingham to Shark Bay, Western Australia, and Cape York to Moreton Bay, Queensland. The species may also occur in Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory.


Dorsal fin VI + I,8; Anal fin II,8; Pectoral fin 11-13; Gill rakers 2-4 + 9-11 = 11-14 (total), developed gill rakers 0 + 6-9.
Body relatively slender, depth 3.7-4.1 in SL; snout pointed, lower jaw jutting out beyond upper jaw. Scales ctenoid, large, thin, deciduous; 


Often taken as bycatch in commercial trawls.

Similar Species


The specific name cuneiceps is from the Latin cuneus (= wedge) and -ceps (= headed), in reference to the wedge-shaped head of this species.

Species Citation

Siphamia cuneiceps Whitley 1941, Aust. Zool. 10(1): 29, fig. 20. Type locality: Fraser Island, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Wedgehead Siphonfish, Siphamia cuneiceps Whitley 1941


Black, R., Robertson, A.I., Peterson, C.H. & Peterson, N.M. 1990. Fishes and benthos of near-shore seagrass and sandflat habitats at Monkey Mia Shark Bay, Western Australia, pp. 245-261. In Berry PF, Bradshaw, S.D. & Wilson, B.R. (eds). Research in Shark Bay: Report of the France-Australe Biocentenary Expedition Committee. Perth: Western Australia Museum.

Gon, O. & Allen, G.R. 2012. Revision of the Indo-Pacific cardinalfish genus Siphamia (Perciformes: Apogonidae). Zootaxa 3294: 1-84

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.
Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. & Kozawa, T. 2019. Cardinalfishes of the world. New ed. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, and Okazaki, Aichi, Japan : Anthias, Nexus: 1-198.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Mabuchi, K., Fraser, T.H., Song, H., Azuma, Y. & Nishida, M. 2014. Revision of the systematics of the cardinalfishes (Percomorpha: Apogonidae) based on molecular analyses and comparative reevaluation of morphological characters. Zootaxa 3846(2): 151–203

Whitley, G.P. 1941. Ichthyological notes and illustrations. The Australian Zoologist 10(1): 1-50 figs 1-32 pls 1-2 Ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327115

Biology:Bioluminescent; mouth brooder (males)

Depth:1-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:4 cm SL


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CAAB distribution map