Common name: Australian Freshwater Basses, Australian Freshwater Blackfish, Australian Freshwater Cods, Temperate basses, Temperate Seabasses



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Dianne J. Bray, Temperate basses, PERCICHTHYIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

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Family Taxonomy

The family Percichthyidae includes 22 freshwater and estuarine species in nine genera from Australia and South America. Eight genera and 18 species are known from Australian waters. The family includes the Australian genera: Bostockia, Edelia, Gadopsis, Guyu, Maccullochella, Macquaria, Nannatherina and Nannoperca, and the South American genus Percichthys. Most of these are detailed in McDowall (1996) and Allen et al. (2002). The species of Edelia, Nannatherina and Nannoperca were reviewed by Kuiter & Allen (1985). The temperate basses include the Australian Murray Cod, Golden Perch and relatives, revised by MacDonald (1978). The percichthyids were first separated from the Serranidae by Gosline (1966). Paxton et al. (1989) included a large number of genera and species, following Gosline (1966) and Nelson (1984), in the family Percichthyidae. Nelson (1994), however, followed Johnson (1984) in restricting the family to freshwater taxa from Australia and South America, including Edelia, Nannatherina, and Nannoperca, genera that were placed in the Kuhliidae by Paxton et al. (1989). As well, the genus Gadopsis, previously in the family Gadopsidae and not covered in Paxton et al. (1989), is now included in the Percichthyidae. Nock et al (2010) revised Maccullochella, elevating M. peelii mariensis to species status. The other genera listed in the Percichthyidae by Paxton et al. (1989) were placed by Nelson (1994) in the families Acropomatidae (Acropoma, Apogonops, Doederleinia, Howella, Malakichthys, Polyprion, Synagrops), Epigonidae (Sphyraenops) and Moronidae (Lateolabrax). Although Nelson (2006) placed the genus Howella in the Percichthyidae, it is now in the Acropomatidae.

Family Distribution

Percichthyids inhabit freshwaters and estuaries of Australia and South America.

Family Size

The Murray Cod, Maccullochella peelii, is the largest percichthyid and can grow to a length of 1.8 m and a weight of more than 100 kg.

Family Feeding

Percichthyids are carnivores and feed on crustaceans, fishes, insects, molluscs, birds and mammals.


Dianne J. Bray


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