Little Weedfish, Heteroclinus puellarum (Scott 1955)

Other Names: Slender Weedfish, The Girls' Weedfish

The Little Weedfish, Heteroclinus puellarum. Source: Rudie Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A pale to dark brown weedfish with two or three blackish oblique bars extending posteriorly from behind each eye, dark dorsal and anal fins interspaced with pale patches and white tips, a dark caudal fin with white tips, and dusky pectoral and pelvic fins with brown spots forming transverse bands.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Heteroclinus puellarum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Little Weedfish, Heteroclinus puellarum (Scott 1955)

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Endemic to southern Australia, from Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, to Kangaroo Island, South Australia, including Tasmania. Inhabits rocky reefs, tide pools and deep estuarine habitats.


Dorsal fin XXXIV-XL, 4-6; Anal fin II, 25-28; Pelvic fin I, 3; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 12; Pectoral fin 13-14; Lateral line 16-20 (arched portion) + 0-7 (straight portion); Gill rakers 1-2 + 0-6= 2-8.  
Body slender (depth at anal fin origin 15-18% SL), compressed. Head broad, of moderate size (23-27% SL); eyes of moderate size (4-7% SL); mouth of moderate size (upper jaw length 8-10% SL in females, 10-12% SL in males), jaws extending to below middle of eyes or to posterior edge of pupils; 13-15 circumorbital head pores arranged uniserially; three to five supratemporal pores (exclusive of median pore); each orbital tentacle short with rounded margin, bilobed, or weakly trilobed (1-4% SL); nasal tentacles elongate, with rounded margin, flap as long as tubular base; gill rakers on lower face frequently rudimentary or very short. 
Lateral line scales usually not extending beyond one-third of dorsal fin. 
Single continuous dorsal fin, originating just before or just behind posterior preopercular margins; anterior spines not elevated, (second spine 3-5% SL), flaps extending posteriorly from dorsal spines usually free; anal fin membrane weakly incised; basal quarter of last anal ray connected by membrane to caudal peduncle. Pelvic fins short, inner ray about one third length of second ray.

Species Citation

Clinus puellarum Scott 1955, Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 89: 139, pl. 1(1). Type locality: rock pool at East Beach, Low Head, northern Tasmania.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Little Weedfish, Heteroclinus puellarum (Scott 1955)


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. 

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs. 

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. 

Scott, E.O.G. 1955. Observations on some Tasmanian fishes. Part 7. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 89: 131-146 fig. 1 See ref online

Williams, J.T., Holleman, W. & Clements, K.D. 2014. Heteroclinus puellarum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T178936A1550041. Downloaded on 17 August 2016.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37416014

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-27 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL


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