Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883


Other Names: Golden Mountain Trout, Saddled Galaxias, Spotted Mountain Trout

Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved

Summary:

A large robust golden-amber galaxias with dark elliptical spots on the back and sides, a silvery-grey belly, and dorsal, anal and pelvic fins pale orange to amber with broad black margins. Golden Galaxias have a long slender snout, jaws about equal in length, and the anal fin originates a little behind the dorsal-fin origin.

Golden Galaxias are found only on the Central Plateau of Tasmania.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020, Galaxias auratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2020, http://136.154.202.208/Home/species/3635

Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to the Central Plateau of Tasmania, occurring naturally only in Lake Sorell, Lake Cresent and associated streams and wetlands. Although common in both lakes, Golden Galaxias are much more common in Lake Sorell. Two small translocated populations were also established in farm dams in the Clyde River catchment, although only one population remains.

Mostly inhabits lakes, with adults preferring the vegetated and rocky shores of still or slow-flowing lakes and streams. Juveniles shoal in open water, moving inshore as they grow.

Features

Dorsal fin 9-13 (usually 11-13); Anal fin 13-16 (usually 14-15); Pectoral fin 14-18 (usually 14-15); Vertebrae 53-56 (usually 54 or 55).

Body streamlined, elongate and stout; head long; snout slender; mouth large reaching back to eyes; jaws about equal with enlarged canines laterally; depth at vent 5.4-6.7 in SL; lateral line present; gill rakers on first arch 16-20 (usually 18 or 19).

Fins well developed, thick and fleshy at bases; single dorsal fin, ventral fins situated on central abdominal; adipose fin absent; anal fin origin below middle of dorsal fin; caudal fin slightly forked.

Size

Maximum size to 24 cm SL, commonly to 15 cm.

Colour

Golden to olive overall with dark circular spots on back and dark ovoid markings on sides. Hind margin of dorsal, anal and pelvic fins black.

Feeding

Feeds on insects, molluscs and small crustaceans. Larvae feed on plankton and pelagic insect larvae.

Biology

Spawning occurs late autumn to early spring with a peak in winter. Females lay large numbers (1000-15,000) of small demersal adhesive eggs (1.5 mm diameter) onto cobble or rocky substrates, or onto aquatic vegetation around lake margins. Larvae hatch at 5-6mm. Golden Galaxias live up to 6 years, although most reach 3-4 years of age.

Conservation

Listed as Near Threatened under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

Listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act 1999.

Golden Galaxias populations are threatened by introduced species such as carp due to habitat degradation, and by trout which are major predators. They are also threatened by loss and degradation of their habitat.

Similar Species

Golden Galaxias are usually stouter and have more distinct spots and darker fin edges than the Saddled Galaxias, Galaxias tanycephalus.

Species Citation

Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883, Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1882: 53-144, Lake Sorell [as near Great Lake], Tasmania, Australia, elevation 4000 feet.

Author

Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883

References


Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp., 63 pls. 

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp.

Andrews, A.P. 1976. A revision of the Family Galaxiidae (Pisces) in Tasmania. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 27: 297-349.

Freeman, R. & Hardie, S. 2019. Galaxias auratus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T122902289A123382106. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T122902289A123382106.en. Downloaded on 12 February 2020.

Frijlink, S. 1999. The early life history of the golden galaxiid, Galaxias auratus in Lakes Crescent and Sorell, Tasmania. B.Sc (Hons) Thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart. pp. 

Fulton, W. 1978. A description of a new species of Galaxias (Salmoniformes : Galaxiidae) from Tasmania. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 29(1): 109-116 figs 1-4 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF9780109

Fulton, W. 1990. Tasmanian Freshwater Fishes. University of Tasmania, Hobart 80 pp.

Hardie, S.A. 2003. Current Status and Ecology of the Golden Galaxias (Galaxias auratus). Inland Fisheries Service, Hobart.

Hardie, S. 2003. Threatened fish profile. Golden galaxias (Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883). ASBF Newsletter 33(2): 57-60.

Hardie, S.A. 2007. Conservation biology of the golden galaxias (Galaxias auratus Johnston) (Pisces: Galaxiidae). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Tasmania, Hobart. 

Hardie, S.A. 2013. Hydrological manipulation to assist spawning of a threatened galaxiid fish in a highland lake system. Marine and Freshwater Research 64: 887–899.

Hardie, S.A., Barmuta, L.A. & White, R.W.G. 2004. Threatened fishes of the world: Galaxias auratus Johnston, 1883 (Galaxiidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 71(2): 126.

Hardie, S.A., Barmuta L.A., White R.W.G. 2005. Seasonal variation in fyke net catches of golden galaxias (Galaxias auratus) (Galaxiidae): implications for monitoring lacustrine populations of threatened galaxiids. Fisheries Management and Ecology 12: 407-409.

Hardie, S.A., Barmuta, L.A. & White, R.W.G. 2006. Comparison of Day and Night Fyke Netting, Electrofishing and Snorkelling for Monitoring a Population of the Threatened Golden Galaxias (Galaxias auratus). Hydrobiologia 560(1): 145-158.

Hardie, S.A., Jackson, J.E., Barmuta, L.A. & White, R.W.G. 2006. Status of galaxiid fishes in Tasmania, Australia: conservation listings, threats and management issues. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 16: 235-250 

Hardie, S.A., Pyecroft, S.B., Barmuta, L.A. & White, R.W.G. 2007. Spawning-related fungal infection of golden galaxias Galaxias auratus (Galaxiidae). Journal of Fish Biology 70(4): 1287-1294.

Hardie, S.A., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2007. Reproductive biology of the threatened golden galaxias Galaxias auratus Johnston and the influence of lake hydrology. Journal of Fish Biology 71: 1820-1840.

Johnston, R.M. 1883. General and critical observations on fishes of Tasmania with a classified catalogue of all known species. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1882: 53-144 See ref online

Leggett, R. & Merrick, J.R. 1987. Australian Native Fishes for Aquariums. Artarmon : J.R. Merrick Publications 241 pp. 142 figs.

McDowall, R.M. (ed.) 1980. Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 208 pp., figs, 32 pls. 

McDowall, R.M. 2006. Crying wolf, crying foul, or crying shame: alien salmonids and a biodiversity crisis in the southern cool-temperate galaxioid fishes? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 16: 233-422

McDowall, R.M. & Frankenberg, R.S. 1981. The galaxiid fishes of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 33(10): 443-605 figs 1-47 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.33.1981.195, open access

McDowall, R.M. & Fulton, W. 1996. Chapter 10. Family Galaxiidae — galaxiids. pp. 52-77 in McDowall, R.M. (ed.) Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs.

Raadik, T.A. 2014. Fifteen from one: a revision of the Galaxias olidus Günther, 1866 complex (Teleostei, Galaxiidae) in south-eastern Australia recognises three previously described taxa and describes 12 new species. Zootaxa 3898(1): 1-198

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Barmuta, L.A. & White, R.W.G. 2006. Nocturnal and diurnal feeding by Galaxias auratus, a lentic galaxiid fish. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 15(4): 521-531.

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Stuart-Smith, J.F., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2007. The impact of an introduced predator on a threatened galaxiid fish is reduced by the availability of complex habitats. Freshwater Biology 52(8): 1555-1563.

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Stuart-Smith, J.F., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2007. The effects of turbidity and complex habitats on the feeding of a galaxiid fish are clear and simple. Marine and Freshwater Research 58(5): 429-435.

Stuart-Smith, R.D., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2008. A shift in the habitat use pattern of a lentic galaxiid fish: an acute behavioural response to an introduced predator. Environmental Biology of Fishes 82(1): 93-100.

Threatened Species Section (2020). Galaxias auratus (Golden Galaxias): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link. https://www.threatenedspecieslink.tas.gov.au/Pages/Golden-Galaxias.aspx. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania. Accessed on 12/2/2020.

Unmack, P.J. 2001. Biogeography of Australian freshwater fishes. Journal of Biogeography 28: 1053-1089 

Whitley, G.P. 1929. R.M. Johnston's memoranda relating to the fishes of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1928: 44-68 figs 2-4

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37102001

Conservation:EPBC Act Endangered; TAS Near threatened

Conservation:IUCN Endangered

Habitat:Freshwater lakes & streams

Max Size:24 cm SL

Native:Endemic

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