Mud whiting

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The mud whiting, Sillago lutea, is a species of coastal marine fish in the smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae. The mud whiting was first described in 1985 and is currently known from the north west coast of Australia and the Indian coast.

As its name suggests, mud whiting prefer muddy or silty substrates, and are commonly found in association with the banana prawn. Due to this relationship, Australian prawn trawlers take large quantities of the species, but it is currently not marketed.

Taxonomy and naming

The mud whiting is one of 29 species in the genus Sillago, which is one of three genera in the smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae. The smelt-whitings are Perciformes in the suborder Percoidea.

The species was scientifically examined by Dutt and Sujatha their revision of the sillaginid fishes of India and incorrectly assigned the specimen to the preexisting species Sillago macrolepis. Roland McKay reexamined the species during his revision of the Sillaginidae, determining it to be a new species and naming it Sillago lutea. A specimen collected from Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia was assigned to be the holotype for the species. The binomial name of "lutea" is derived from the Latin meaning "belonging to mud", also reflected in the common name in reference to its preferred habitat.


As with most of the genus Sillago, the mud whiting has a slightly compressed, elongate...
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