Slender Weed Whiting

Siphonognathus Attenuatus
Slender Weed Whiting - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Siphonognathus Attenuatus
Other names Shortnose Weed Whiting, Short Snouted Pencil Weed Whiting, Slender Rock Whiting
Size Up to 14 cm (5.5 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters in sandy areas near seagrass beds & rocky outcrops
Depth Range 1 - 5 m (16 ft)
Slender Weed Whiting Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Slender Weed Whiting are native to the coastal waters of Australia, found along the southern, and western coastlines. They are commonly sighted in the southern states, including Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia.
  • They are is characterised by its slender and elongated body. It has a distinctive silvery-grey coloration, with a light brown to orangish stripe that runs on the side of its body. They have a easily identifiable white ringed black spot on their tail fin (caudal fin).
  • The Slender Weed Whiting’s coloration and elongated shape allow it to blend seamlessly with the seagrass beds, providing excellent camouflage from potential predators.
  • These fish prefer estuaries, bays, and sheltered coastal areas with seagrass meadows and sandy bottoms. Such environments offer protection and abundant food sources.
  • They possess unique, elongated dorsal and anal fins, aiding in their precise manoeuvring through dense seagrass areas.
  • They are an omnivore, primarily feeding on small crustaceans, molluscs, algae, and plant matter found within their seagrass habitat.
  • These fish typically spawn during the warmer months, with their breeding season extending from late spring to early autumn. They prefer shallow coastal waters with seagrass beds, as these provide ideal nesting and nursery areas for their eggs and fry.
  • During breeding, male Slender Weed Whiting exhibit an interesting courtship display to attract females, involving intricate movements and colour changes.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 2 – 3 years for these small fish.
Species Interaction

Snorkeling & Diving

For snorkelers and divers, observing Slender Weed Whiting in the wild can be a delightful experience. Their preference for shallow waters makes them relatively easy to spot in seagrass habitats, where they often swim in schools.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Siphonognathus

Species: Siphonognathus Attenuatus

Conservation Status

The Slender Weed Whiting does not currently have a specific conservation status. However, due to its dependence on healthy seagrass ecosystems, it may face potential threats from habitat loss and degradation.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Seagrass Beds

Danger: None

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