Kelp Weedfish, Heteroclinus eckloniae (McKay 1970)

Other Names: Weedfish

A Kelp Weedfish, Heteroclinus eckloniae. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A brown weedfish with obscure vertical dark bands or large spots on the body, a pale throat and belly, three short, blackish bars extending postero-ventrally from below and behind each eye, and the gill cover mottled with darker brown patches. The first dorsal fin is blackish, the basal one-fourth of the pectoral fins are dark, with the rest of pectoral, pelvic and caudal fin with spots forming transverse bands, brownish-red dorsal and anal fins, and several transparent areas on the rear membrane of the dorsal fin.
Each orbital tentacle is elongate, frequently bilobed (occasionally simple), and the nasal tentacles are multi-lobed (usually 5-7 slender lobes).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Heteroclinus eckloniae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Feb 2023,

Kelp Weedfish, Heteroclinus eckloniae (McKay 1970)

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Endemic to southern Australia, from Norman Island, Victoria, to Dunsburry, Western Australia, and northern Tasmania.Inhabits areas with dense macroalgae and rocks in tidepools and shallow coastal waters.


Dorsal fin III, XXVI-XXVIII, 5-7; Anal fin II, 22-24; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 11-14; Pectoral fin 13; Pelvic fin I, 3; LL. 17-23 (arched portion) + 23-30 (straight portion); Gill rakers 2-3 + 6-8 = 8-10.
Body of moderate depth (depth at anal fin origin 16-25% SL, 21-25% in adults), strongly compressed. Jaws reaching to below middle of eyes; 21-32 circumorbital head pores (biserially arranged only above eyes); each orbital tentacle elongate (2-4% SL), frequently bilobed but occasionally simple; nasal tentacles multifid (usually five to seven slender lobes). 
Two dorsal fins, first dorsal fin slightly elevated (second spine 8-11% SL) originating over posterior preopercular margin; dorsal fins continuous or last spine of first dorsal connected basally to second dorsal fin; flaps extending posteriorly from dorsal spines bound in membrane; caudal fin truncate to emarginate, segmented rays five or six (from top) slightly shorter than other rays (17- 20% SL). Pelvic fins short, not reaching anus, inner ray one-half to two-thirds length of second ray.


Feeds mostly on small crustaceans.

Species Citation

Clinus eckloniae McKay, 1970, Fish. Bull., West. Aust. 9(5): 16, fig. 1. Type locality: Wilsons Head, west of Albany, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Kelp Weedfish, Heteroclinus eckloniae (McKay 1970)


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. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

McKay, R.J. 1970. Additions to the fish fauna of Western Australia. 5. Western Australian Fisheries Bulletin 9(5): 3-24 figs 1-2 

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.

Williams, J.T., Holleman, W. & Clements, K.D. 2014. Heteroclinus eckloniae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T178935A1549923. Downloaded on 17 August 2016.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37416019

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated, kelp beds

Max Size:11 cm TL


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