Blue Weed Whiting

Haletta Semifasciata
Blue Weed Whiting - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Haletta Semifasciata
Other names Blue Rock Whiting, Grass Whiting, Rock Whiting, Stranger Whiting, Weed Whiting, Weedy Whiting
Size Up to 29 cm (11 in)
Weight Under 1.25 kg (2.75 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, bay & harbours amongst sandy & seagrass areas
Depth Range 1 - 10 m (32 ft)
Blue Weed Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Blue Weed Whiting are native to the coastal waters of southern Australia. They are commonly found along the southern coast, ranging from New South Wales to Western Australia, and are particularly abundant in the waters of Victoria and Tasmania.
  • Blue Weed Whiting have an elongated and slender body, with a slightly compressed shape. Its coloration varies from pale blue to greenish-blue on the upper body, fading to a lighter shade on the lower sides and belly. They have two distinct dark bands running along the body, one behind the pectoral fin and the other near the tail.
  • They primarily feed on small crustaceans, molluscs, and other tiny marine invertebrates that inhabit the seagrass beds and rocky reefs where they reside.
  • They are known for their skittish nature, often darting for cover when approached by potential threats. This behaviour is an adaptation to avoid predators and ensures their survival.
  • Blue Weed Whiting have evolved specialised pelvic fins that act as tactile sensors, helping them navigate through the dense seagrass habitats they inhabit.
  • They are thought to engage in mutualistic relationships with other species, such as cleaner fish that remove parasites from their bodies, benefiting both parties involved.
  • Blue Weed Whiting typically spawn during the warmer months, which is generally from late spring to early autumn (October to April). They prefer to lay their eggs in seagrass beds, providing protection for the developing embryos.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 2 – 3 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Blue Weed Whiting are not a primary target for recreational fishing, they are occasionally caught as a by-catch when fishing for other species. For snorkelers and divers, observing them can be a rewarding experience. Their vibrant blue coloration and distinct banding patterns make them visually striking, especially against the backdrop of seagrass beds and rocky reefs.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Odacidae

Genus: Haletta

Species: Haletta Semifasciata

Conservation Status

The Blue Weed Whiting is considered a species of least concern in Australia. Their population is stable, and there are currently no major conservation concerns regarding their numbers.

How to catch
Blue Weed Whiting

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Prawns, Shellfish, Squid, Worms, Yabbies

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom

Popularity: Not targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon, Seagrass Beds

Danger: None

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