What's on the move

Hairtail blenny

Xiphasia setifer

(Image credit: David Harasti)

This fish has a long eel-like body. The dorsal fin runs the majority of the dorsal surface, beginning from above the eye and ending on the tail. The anal fin is also elongated but begins closer to the tail. Pelvic fins have adapted as two fin rays that are used for control when the species extends its head from burrows. The body is a light brownish-yellow colour with vertical dark brown bars. Some individuals have blue markings around the head and dorsal fin edges. Larger fish have a blue-ringed black spot on the dorsal fin above the gills. This species is easily distinguished from other blennies.

Length: Up to 53 cm


Burrows and tubes in sandy and muddy substrates; 2-150 m depth

Log it

In New South Wales, log if spotted south of Bate Bay

Related links/info

Species names on the Redmap site are based on the Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota or CAAB (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/caab/). This is updated regularly and lists the approved common name, family, species name and more.

Redmap species descriptions were based, with permission, on the following books:

Australian Marine Life: The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters by G. J. Edgar, Revised Ed. (2008) Reed Books, Melbourne

Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast, Edited by M. Gomon. D. Bray and R. Kuiter (2008) Reed Books, Melbourne

Find further information and images at FISHES OF AUSTRALIA http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/

Number of sightings 3

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