Pencil Weed Whiting

Siphonognathus Beddomei
Pencil Weed Whiting - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Siphonognathus Beddomei
Other names Beddome's Rock Whiting, Longnose Weed Whiting, Pygmy Rock Whiting, Pygmy Whiting, Slender Weed Whiting
Size Up to 12 cm (4.72 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, estuaries, kelp beds & areas of rocky reef abundant in macroalgae
Depth Range 1 - 5 m (16 ft)
Pencil Weed Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Pencil Weed Whiting are typically found along the shallow coastal waters of southern Australian states. Including Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, and parts of southern Western Australia.
  • They are a small, slender fish with an elongated body that tapers towards the tail. They have a distinct dark vertical band running along their body, which is more pronounced in males during the breeding season. Their coloration blends well with their seagrass habitat, aiding in camouflage.
  • Their name is influenced by their distinctive elongated snout.
  • Pencil Weed Whiting primarily feeds on small crustaceans, such as amphipods, copepods, and small shrimp, which they find among the seagrass beds.
  • They are a schooling species, often seen in small groups, which provides them with safety in numbers against predators.
  • They usually spawn during the warmer months, typically in late spring and early summer, when water temperatures are favourable for egg development.
  • During the breeding season, male Pencil Weed Whiting may display courtship behaviours, such as changing colour patterns and fin movements, to attract females.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 3 – 5 years.
Species Interaction

Snorkeling & Diving

Pencil Weed Whiting are relatively shy and cautious in nature, making them challenging to observe in the wild. To increase the chances of seeing them during snorkeling or diving, patience and slow movements are required. Snorkelers and divers should approach their habitat quietly to avoid startling them.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Siphonognathus

Species: Siphonognathus Beddomei

Conservation Status

The Pencil Weed Whiting’s conservation status in Australia is classified as “Least Concern.” However, it is essential to verify this information with more recent sources for up-to-date status.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Shy

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon, Seagrass Beds

Danger: None

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