East Gippsland Galaxias, Galaxias aequipinnis Raadik 2014

East Gippsland Galaxias, Galaxias aequipinnis. Source: Tarmo A. Raadik. License: All rights reserved

A mostly brown galaxias, becoming silvery-white below, with dark brown to black irregular blotches and vertical bands, a small golden patch on the gill cover, and a broad indistinct pale coppery mid-lateral band.
Video of East Gippsland Galxias in the wild.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Galaxias aequipinnis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5122

East Gippsland Galaxias, Galaxias aequipinnis Raadik 2014

More Info


Endemic to the Arte River system, a tributary of the Goolengook River, Bemm River catchment, in the coastal East Gippsland region of Victoria, at an elevational range of 250– > 390 m asl.
Inhabits small to moderately large well shaded, cool, clear to slightly tannin stained streams in densely forested catchments, with pools, glides, riffles, and smaller amounts of rapids and backwater areas. The stream substrates are mostly bedrock with boulder and cobble, smaller amounts of gravel and coarse sand, and relatively large silty areas.


Differs from all other species within the Galaxias olidus complex in having the following combination of characters: segmented pelvic fin rays 8; pyloric caecae absent; head length relatively long (22.9 % SL), its length about as long as PelAn distance; nostrils of moderate length, usually just visible anterio-laterally from ventral view; mouth slightly subterminal and lower jaw shorter than upper; distinctive ‘blunt’ profile of snout; long anal fin base (mean of 11.6 % SL); short AL/LAB ratio, long pelvic fins which are about 0.9 of the pectoral fin length; a relatively long snout (30.1 % HL); a broadly flat dorsal midline anteriorly from above pelvic fin bases; raised lamellae rarely present on ventral surface of paired fins, if so, weakly developed; anal fin origin usually under 0.6 distance posteriorly along dorsal fin base; and, lack of black bars along lateral line. 


Mostly brown on back and upper sides above lateral line, extending onto top and sides of head and snout, and lateral sides of trunk posterior to anal fin, becoming light brown to cream ventrally, belly almost silvery white. Overlain by small to moderate sized dark brown to black, irregular shaped blotches, some coalescing to form irregularly shaped vertical bands; gill cover translucent with small golden patch; wide, diffuse and pale, mid-lateral band of copper flecks, becoming more noticeable on caudal region. Pupil black, iris silvery gold; fins generally brown to light brown. Gravid females with fine black to dark grey stippling along ventro-lateral surface of trunk between the pectoral fin base and vent.


Australian Society for Fish Biology: Critically Endangered
Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act: Listed
In January 2020, extensive bushfires burnt through the known habitat of the East Gippsland Galaxias. Heavy rains following the fires may further endanger this species by washing ash and toxic chemicals into rivers and streams.


The specific name aequipinnis is from the Latin aequalis (like, same) and pinna (= fin), in reference to the almost equal size, on average, of the pectoral and pelvic fins of this species, which are the most equal of all members within the Galaxias olidus complex.

Species Citation

Galaxias aequipinnis Raadik 2014, Zootaxa 3898(1): 29, figs 6, 7. Type locality: Arte River, at bridge on Glen Arte Road, west of Club Terrace, Murrungower State Forest, VIC [37°34'4”S, 148°45'14”E]. 


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

East Gippsland Galaxias, Galaxias aequipinnis Raadik 2014


Adams, M., Raadik, T.A., Burridge, C.P. & Georges, A. 2014. Global biodiversity assessment and hyper-cryptic species complexes: more than one species of elephant in the room. Systematic Biology 63(4): 518–533 https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syu017 (as the taxon ‘AR’)

Cadwallader, P.L. & Backhouse, G.N. 1983. A Guide to the Freshwater Fish of Victoria. Melbourne : F.D. Atkinson Government Printer 249 pp. figs. (as Galaxias olidus in part)

Kuiter, R.H. 2013. Pictorial Guide to Victoria's Freshwater Fishes. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics 178 pp. (as Galaxias sp. 17)

Lintermans, M. 2016. Conservation Status of Australian Fishes – 2016. Australian Society for Fish Biology Newsletter 46(2): 142-144. Available online at https://www.asfb.org.au/conservation-status-of-australian-fishes

Lintermans, M., Geyle, H.M., Beatty, S., Brown, C., Ebner, B., Freeman, R., Hammer, M.P., Humphreys, W.F., Kennard, M.J., Kern, P., Martin, K., Morgan, D., Raadik, T.A., Unmack, P.J., Wager, R., Woinarski, J.C.Z. & Garnett, S.T. 2020. Big trouble for little fish: Identifying Australian freshwater fishes in imminent risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biologyhttps://doi.org/10.1071/PC19053 

Raadik, T.A. 1995. An assessment of significance of the fishes and freshwater decapod crustacea of three areas of East Gippsland, Victoria. Flora and Fauna Technical Report 140. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Victoria. Flora and Fauna Technical Report 140. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Victoria. 92 pp. (as Galaxias olidus in part)

Raadik, T.A. 2011. Systematic revision of the Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus Günther, 1866 species complex (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) in eastern Australia. Ph.D thesis, University of Canberra. pp. i-xxiii, 1-493 (as Galaxias 'arte')

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 https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3898.1.1

Raadik, T. 2019. Galaxias aequipinnis . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T122902229A123382096. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T122902229A123382096.en. Downloaded on 21 January 2020.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37102024

Conservation:IUCN Critically Endangered


Max Size:8 cm SL


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