Longtail Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp 3

Other Names: Long-tail Weedfish, Longtailed Weedfish

Longtail Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp. 3. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A relatively large yellowish to brown weedfish, often with a whitish to silvery-white stripe extending behind the rear of the eye. The Longtail Weedfish has a very long caudal peduncle, and a bilobed nasal tentacle with the flap as long as the tubular  base. This is the only species of Heteroclinus to have no orbital tentacle.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Heteroclinus sp 3 in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Feb 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/5243

Longtail Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp 3

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Endemic to southeastern Australia from Sydney, New South Wales, to Port Phillip, Victoria, and northern Tasmania. Inhabits sandy, rocky and algae, mostly in deep coastal rock pools amongst string kelp at depths to 5 m.


Dorsal fin III, XXV-XXVI,3; Anal fin II,17-19; Pectoral fin 12-13; Pelvic fin I,3; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 10-12; Lateral-line scales 18-23 (arched portion) + 25-31 (straight portion); Gill rakers 2-3 + 7-8 = 9-11.  
Body of moderate depth (depth at anal fin origin 23-29% SL), sides strongly compressed; caudal peduncle long (11.9-17.2% SL), very slender. Mouth of moderate size (upper jaw length 8-11% SL) reaching to between middle and posterior edge of eyes; 13-18 circumorbital head pores arranged uniserially; no orbital tentacle; nasal tentacles bilobed, flap as long as tubular base; middle and often uppermost rakers on outer face of first gill arch branched dorsally. 
Two dorsal fins, first dorsal low (second spine 7-10% SL), originating over preopercular margin; first dorsal fin separated or connected by membrane to base of second dorsal fin; flaps extending posteriorly from dorsal spines bound in membrane; last two dorsal and anal rays widely separated from preceding ray; last dorsal ray connected by membrane to middle of caudal peduncle; basal half of last anal fin ray attached to caudal peduncle by membrane. Pelvic fins short and stout, inner ray about two-thirds length of second ray.


Head and body yellow to brown; horizontal white or silver stripe sometimes present extending posteriorly from upper posterior margin of each eye.


Bray, D.J. 2021

Longtail Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp 3


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. & Kuiter, S.L. 2018. Fish watchers guide to coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp. (as Heteroclinus sp 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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37416027

Depth:to 5 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL


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