Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Sillaginidae
Etymology: Sillago: From a locality in Australia . More on author: Cuvier.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 46 m (Ref. 6335), usually 20 - 22 m. Tropical, preferred ?; 9°S - 45°S, 142°E - 170°E (Ref. 6205)
Western Pacific: east coast of Australia from Cape York (rare) and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland to eastern Victoria, Ulverstone on northeast coast of Tasmania; Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia, Woodlark Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Bleeker's records (Ref. 1502, 1843) from Batavia and Java were in error (Ref. 4899).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 24.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 51.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6205); max. published weight: 1.4 kg (Ref. 6390); max. reported age: 22 years (Ref. 1254)
soft rays: 15 - 17;
Vertebrae: 32 - 34. The shape of the swim bladder is not distinguishable from that of S. analis. Anterior part of the swim bladder with rudimentary tubules projecting anteriorly and a series laterally that diminish in size and become sawtooth-like posteriorly. The coloration of adult specimens is uniform, without darker bars or blotches. A dark spot is present at the base of the pectoral fin in younger individuals.
An onshore schooling species occurring on coastal beaches, sandbars, and surf zones as well as open bays, estuaries, coastal lakes (Ref. 6205), and rivers as far as tidal limits (Ref. 6390). Keep away from shore when older. Live almost exclusively on sandy ground. Juveniles and adolescents are abundant in shallow waters of rivers and creeks, over seagrass beds and in mangroves (Ref. 6223), although they tend to move into deeper water as they grow older (Ref. 6390). Larvae are present in river mouths and mangrove areas most of the year (Ref. 27634). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Feed mostly on polychaetes and crustaceans. Also caught using tunnel nets (Ref. 6205).
Sand whiting probably spawn twice each season (Ref. 1254, 27633). Spawning occurs at peak high tide, at night, and 1-2 days before the new moon (Ref. 6390).
McKay, R.J., 1992. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 14. Sillaginid fishes of the world (family Sillaginidae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the sillago, smelt or Indo-Pacific whiting species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(14):87p. (Ref. 6205)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: experimental; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00851 (0.00345 - 0.02099), b=3.09 (2.88 - 3.30), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.39; tm=2-3; tmax=22; Fec=31,000).
Prior r = 0.49, 2 SD range = 0.25 - 0.95, log(r) = -0.71, SD log(r) = 0.34, Based on: 2 K, 2 tgen, 1 tmax, 4 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .