Western Galaxias, Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby 1899

Other Names: Western Jollytail, Western Minnow

Western Galaxias, Galaxias occidentalis. Source: Mark Allen. License: All rights reserved


A large non-migratory galaxiid found in south-west Western Australia.

Identifying features:
Body long and slender;
Overall olive-green to tannish-brown on back and sides with a series of irregular darker bars on sides, belly silvery.

Cite this page as:
Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray, Galaxias occidentalis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2020,

Western Galaxias, Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby 1899

More Info


Known only from Waychinicup Creek  east of Albany (118°50’E) to the Arrowsmith River, north of Perth (29°S) Western Australia; Inhabiting fast flowing water near rapids and waterfalls, slower moving streams and pools around submerged vegetation and woody debris; also lakes and wetlands; tolerates brackish conditions.


Dorsal fin 10-12; Anal fin 12-18 (usually 14-16); Pectoral fin 10-15 (usually 13-14); Gill rakers 13-14.

Body elongate and slender; greatest depth 6.0-6.5 in SL; head flattened; snout moderately pointed; lateral canine teeth present in jaws and enlarged fangs at middle of lower jaw; lower jaw protruding slightly; caudal peduncle long. Scales absent. Caudal fin truncate or slightly emarginate.


Maximum size to 19 cm, commonly to 9 cm TL.


Olive green to tan-brown overall with a series of darker bars on upper sides (sometimes pale and indistinct) with a silvery body, amber fins and golden eye.


Feed mainly on insects and small crustaceans.


Spends entire lifecycle in freshwater.

Species Citation

Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby, 1899, Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 24(1): 157. Type locality: Perth, Western Australia.


Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray

Western Galaxias, Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby 1899


Allen, G.R. 1989 Freshwater fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey.

Allen, G.R., H. Midgley & M. Allen 2002 Field guide to the freshwater fishes of Australia. I-xiv + 1-394.

Beatty SJ, Morgan DL. 2016. Rapid proliferation of an endemic galaxiid following eradication of an alien piscivore (Perca fluviatilis) from a reservoir. Journal of Fish Biology, 8 pp, doi:10.1111/jfb.13214

Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian freshwater fishes: biology and management. Griffin Press Ltd., South Australia. 409 pp.

Morgan, D.L., Beatty, S.J., Klunzinger, M.W., Allen, M.G. & Burnham, Q.E. 2011. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes, Crayfishes & Mussels of South-Western Australia. Murdoch, Western Australia : SERCUL & Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit (Murdoch University) 80 pp.

Morgan, D.L., Gill, H.S. & Potter, I.C. 1998. Distribution, identification and biology of freshwater fishes in south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 56: 1-97.

Morgan, D.L., Unmack, P.J., Beatty, S.J., Ebner, B.C., Allen, M.G., Keleher, J.J., Donaldson, J.A. & Murphy, J. 2014. An overview of the ‘freshwater fishes’ of Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 97: 263–278

Ogilby, J.D. 1899. Contributions to Australian Ichthyology. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 24(1): 154-186.

Pen, L.J. & Potter, I.C. 1991. Biology of the western minnow, Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby (Teleostei: Galaxiidae), in a south-western Australian river. 1. Reproductive biology. Hydrobiologia 211(2): 77-88.

Pen, L.J. & Potter, I.C. 1991. Biology of the western minnow, Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby (Teleostei: Galaxiidae), in a south-western Australian river. 2. Size and age composition, growth and diet. Hydrobiologia 211(2): 89-100.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37102017


Habitat:Freshwater rivers, creeks, lakes, wetlands

Max Size:19 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map