Sharpnose Weed Whiting

Siphonognathus Caninus
Sharpnose Weed Whiting - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Siphonognathus Caninus
Other names Sharpnose Rockwhiting
Size Up to 10 cm (3.93 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst rocky reefs & seagrass areas rich in algae
Depth Range 1 - 5 m (16 ft)
Sharpnose Weed Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Sharpnose Weed Whiting is endemic to Australia, and its distribution spans along the southern coast, from Western Australia to Victoria and around Tasmania.
  • They are small, slender fish with a distinctive sharp nose, hence its name. Their colouration can change depending on environment, however males are typically yellowish-orange to green with different coloured stripes along the head and sides. Juveniles and female are often reddish-brown to green with pearly white and silvery colours on the sides.
  • They are carnivorous and feed on small crustaceans, marine worms, and tiny molluscs found in the seagrass beds.
  • Sharpnose Weed Whiting possess excellent camouflage abilities, allowing them to blend in with the seagrass and sandy seabed to avoid predators.
  • They are generally found in schools, which provides them safety in numbers against predators.
  • Breeding is during the warmer months in Australia, usually from late spring to early autumn. They prefer shallow waters with seagrass beds for spawning.
  • After spawning, males provide limited parental care by guarding and protecting the eggs until they hatch, which usually takes a few days.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 2 – 3 years.
Species Interaction

Snorkeling & Diving

Observing Sharpnose Weed Whiting in the wild can be a delightful experience for snorkelers and divers, especially in clear, shallow waters where seagrass beds are abundant. As they can be a schooling fish, identifying them in the seagrass beds can be easy.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Odacidae

Genus: Siphonognathus

Species: Siphonognathus Caninus

Conservation Status

The Sharpnose 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.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon, Seagrass Beds

Danger: None

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