Milward's Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp 6

Milward's Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp. 6, at Brighton, Port Phillip, Victoria, December 2017. Source: Rebecca Lloyd / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

An undescribed mottled weedfish with 6-7 dark vertical bars that extend onto the dorsal fin, first dorsal fin mostly dark, remaining fins with small brown spots forming bands, and the caudal peduncle is mostly whitish with a dark central band that widens on the tail base. The orbital tentacle is broad with a rounded or weakly crenulated margin, and the nasal tentacle commonly has 3-5 lobes. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Heteroclinus sp 6 in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2024,

Milward's Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp 6

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia from Port Phillip, Victoria, and northern Tasmania, to Brenton Bay, Western Australia. Inhabits rocky areas, macroalgae and seagrass beds in shallow coastal waters.


Dorsal fin III, XXVIIIXXX, 2-4; Anal fin II, 20- 22; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 10-12; Pectoral fin 12-13; Pelvic fin I, 3; Lateral line scales 22-29 + 19-30 (arched portion); Gill rakers 0-1 + 1-6 = 3-7.
Body of moderate depth (depth at anal fin origin 17-21% SL), strongly compressed; caudal peduncle very slender. Head of moderate size (25-30% SL); eyes of moderate size (7-9% SL); mouth of moderate size, (upper jaw length 9-13% SL), extending to below middle of eyes or posterior edge of pupils; 29-47 circumorbital pores biserially arranged; each orbital tentacle broad with round or weakly crenulated margin (2-4% SL); nasal tentacles bilobed to multifid, frequently with three to five lobes; gill rakers on outer lower face of first gill arch rudimentary or very short. 
Scales cycloid on body; lateral line scales extending to caudal peduncle, anterior scales overlapping, each with single median or slightly dorsal posterior pore, posterior scales not overlapping, each with median pore at either end.  
Two dorsal fins, first dorsal slightly elevated, originating over preopercular margin (second spine 8-11% SL); first dorsal fin connected by membrane to basal half of second dorsal fin; flaps extending posteriorly from dorsal spines bound in membrane; anal fin membrane deeply incised; last anal ray narrowly connected to caudal peduncle; caudal fin rounded (17-21% SL). Pectoral fins large, rounded. Pelvic fins jugular, thin, not reaching anus, inner ray small, one fourth to less than one third length of second ray.


Head and dorsal half of body dark, ventral half of trunk and tail pale; body with six or seven blackish vertical bars extending onto dorsal fin leaving pale interspaces on dorsal fin; caudal fin base dark; upper and lower portion of each side with series of large white spots forming two longitudinal broken stripes often separated by dark stripe; ventral half of head, ventral portion of pectoral-fin bases, belly, and ventral half of body mottled with dark spots; first dorsal fin blackish, other fins pale with series of brown spots forming several bands.

Similar Species

This species is closely related to Heteroclinus whiteleggii from New South Wales, which has two pelvic-fin rays.


Bray, D.J. 2021

Milward's Weedfish, Heteroclinus sp 6


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.

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:37416030

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL


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