The northern whiting often inhabits shallow, soft sandy areas along coasts, bays, harbours, occurs in mangrove-lined streams and estuaries and occasionally enters the lowest parts of freshwater streams.
The northern Whiting can also be found a considerable distance upstream in freshwater habitats.
The cod-like fish is also reef associated,
The benthic living fish is of different colours, ranging from light brown, silvery yellow-brown to sandy brown or honey-coloured, paler on the ventral side, with a silver central strip, dusky dorsal fins with or without rows of dark brown spots on the second dorsal fin membrane,
The somewhat darker caudal fin and often a whitish edge on the anal fin.
The fish is caught with purse seine, hand lines and shrimp trawls and marketed fresh, frozen and dried salted - it is considered to be very fine to eat.
This species feeds on small invertebrates, mainly blue-green algae and dinoflagellates, as well as small crabs and larvae.
Atherina sihama (Forsskål, 1775)
Platycephalus sihamus (Forsskål, 1775)
Sciaena malabarica (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Sillago acuta (Cuvier, 1816)
Sillago erythraea (Cuvier, 1829)
Sillago ihama (Forsskål, 1775)
Sillago malabarica (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Sillago sehama (Forsskål, 1775)