Sand Whiting, Sillago ciliata Cuvier 1829

Other Names: Blue Nose Whiting, Bluenose Whiting, Blue-nose Whiting, Sand Sillago, Silver Whiting, Summer Whiting

A Sand Whiting, Sillago ciliata, between Shelly Beach and Fairy Bower, Manly, New South Wales, May 2017. Source: Erik Schlogl / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A silvery-white species with a yellowish side, and a dark blotch at the pectoral-fin base, especially in young fish. The similar Yellowfin Whiting, Sillago schomburgkii lacks the dark blotches on the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Sillago ciliata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Sep 2020,

Sand Whiting, Sillago ciliata Cuvier 1829

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Found in the Western Pacific from eastern Australia to Lord Howe Island, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. Sand Whiting occur in coastal waters including sandy beaches, bays, rivers, estuaries and coastal lakes. Large schools are often seen in the surf zone, on sand banks and near the mouths of rivers. Sand Whiting may bury themselves in the bottom to avoid predators.


Sand Whiting use their conical snouts to forage in the substrate to search for benthic invertebrates such as crustaceans, bivalve molluscs and polychaete worms.


Bray, D.J. 2017

Sand Whiting, Sillago ciliata Cuvier 1829


Butcher, A., Mayer, D., Willett, D., Johnston, M. & Smallwood, D. 2003. Scale pattern analysis is preferable to OTC marking of otoliths for differentiating between stocked and wild dusky flathead, Platycephalus fuscus, and sand whiting, Sillago ciliata. Fisheries Management and Ecology 10: 163–172. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2400.2003.00328.x Abstract

Ochwada-Doyle, F.A., Stocks, J., Barnes, L. & Gray, C.A. 2014. Reproduction, growth and mortality of the exploited sillaginid, Sillago ciliata Cuvier, 1829. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 30(5): 870–880. DOI: 10.1111/jai.12478 Abstract

Stocks, J., Stewart, J., Gray, C.A. & West, R.J. 2011. Using otolith increment widths to infer spatial, temporal and gender variation in the growth of sand whiting Sillago ciliata. Fisheries Management and Ecology 18: 121–131. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2400.2010.00761.x Abstract

Weng, H.T. 1983. Identification, habitats and seasonal occurrence of juvenile whiting (Sillaginidae) in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Journal of Fish Biology 23: 195–200. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1983.tb02894.x Abstract

Weng, H.T. 1986. Spatial and temporal distribution of whiting (Sillaginidae) in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Journal of Fish Biology 29: 755–764. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.1986.tb04991.x Abstract

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37330010

Depth:0-40 m

Fishing:Recreational fish

Habitat:Estuaries, coastal sandy areas

Max Size:55 cm TL

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