Cristiceps australis

Crested weedfish
Cristiceps australis
Cristiceps australis, Ulladulla, NSW, Photo: Andrew Green
Cristiceps australis
Cristiceps australis, Norfolk Bay, TAS, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Cristiceps australis
Cristiceps australis


Temperate Australasia


Elongate three-spined first dorsal fin that commences above the eyes. This fin commences level with the centre of the eye and is not directly connected to the base of the second dorsal fin. The first dorsal fin on the otherwise similar Forster's weedfish (Heteroclinus tristis) commences further back, behind the rear margin of the eye. The species is most abundant in seagrass and algal beds with low to moderate wave action, but stays very well hidden amongst the foliage.


Max Size: 18 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 11.4-22.3°C

Depth: 0-10m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (5.1% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.