Crested Weedfish, Cristiceps australis (Valenciennes, 1836)
The Crested Weedfish is a small fish that has a high first dorsal fin. It is a cryptic species that usually occurs, as its name would suggest, in areas of seaweed.
The Crested Weedfish has a long, slender body with a large caudal fin and narrow caudal peduncle.
The dorsal fin is divided into two distinct parts. The high first part, which has three spines, originates above the eye and behind the supraorbital tentacles. The long-based second part has 26 to 29 spines followed by 6 to 8 rays.
The colouration of this species is highly variable, with fish often matching their habitats. Crested Weedfish commonly have a band extending down and back from the eye, a white blotch behind the pectoral fin base, and diffuse banding on the body.
The Crested Weedfish occurs primarily in temperate marine waters. It is known from southern Queensland, around the south of the country, including Tasmania, and north to the central coast of Western Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
- Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
- Hoese, D.F, Rennis, D.S. & M.F. Gomon. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.