Heteroclinus perspicillatus

Common weedfish
Heteroclinus perspicillatus
Heteroclinus perspicillatus, adult, Port Phillip Bay, VIC, Photo: Antonia Cooper


Temperate Australasia


Three spines and 31-34 rays regularly arranged along the dorsal fin, and by the shape of the tentacles and arrangement of pores on the top of the head. The species can also usually be recognised by pattern as it typically has a rounded blotch on each side near the start of the dorsal fin, and the body immediately in front of the tail is equally divided into dark upper and white lower sections. As the name suggests, the common weedfish is the most abundant clinid in southern Australia, frequenting a large range of habitat types.


Max Size: 20 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.4-22.1°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 (9.6% 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: Few (2 per transect)

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

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney