Eastern School Whiting

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The eastern school whitingSillago flindersi (also known as the redspot whiting and the Bass Strait whiting), is a species of benthic marine fish of the smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae. The eastern school whiting is endemicto Australia, distributed along the east coast from southern Queensland down to Tasmania and South Australia, where it inhabits sandy substrates from shallow tidal flats to depths of 180 m on the continental shelf. Eastern school whiting prey on various crustaceans and polychaete worms, with the diet varying seasonally and throughout the range of the species. Eastern school whiting reproduce in the deeper waters twice a year, releasing up to 110,000 eggs during a season.

Eastern school whiting are a major commercial species along the eastern coast of Australia, caught by Danishseine vessels in the Bass Strait and as a byproduct of prawn trawling to the north. This forms a large export market to Japan, with over 1400 tonnes per year caught and exported.

The eastern school whiting has a pale sandy colour on top with a silvery white below and an olive brown-pink head with blue and yellow tinges. A series of obliquely positioned rusty brown bars are positioned on the back and upper sides, with a longitudinal row of rusty brown blotches along the mid-lateral silver stripe. There is no dark spot at the base of the hyaline-yellow pectoral fin. The first, spinous dorsal fin is hyaline with a dusting of red spots, while the second dorsal fin is hyaline and each ray having a sprinkling of 4-5 red spots. The ventral and anal fins are also hyaline, with the anal fin having yellow to orange rays with white margins. The coloration is very similar to S. bassensis but differs in that the oblique bars are wider, more regular and without the appearance of effused dots or spots, as well as lacking the mid-lateral blotches.

Information sourced from Wikipedia

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