Mitchell Gudgeon, Hypseleotris hutchinsi Hoese & Allen 1987

Mitchell Gudgeon, Kimberleyeleotris hutchinsi. Source: Mark Allen. License: All rights reserved

A small pale greyish-brown gudgeon with a darker underside, with black anterior dorsal-fin spines and an orange patch on the fin, a large black blotch anteriorly on the base of the second dorsal fin and white spots on the fin, a reddish-orange anal fin, and a white margin on the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins. Males are more densely covered in melanophores than females.
This species was previously known as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2022, Hypseleotris hutchinsi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2022,

Mitchell Gudgeon, Hypseleotris hutchinsi Hoese & Allen 1987

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Known only from the Mitchell River in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. The species inhabits still to moderately fast-flowing freshwater rocky streams and pools. A mostly solitary species that sometimes forms loose aggregations in mid-water.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 8-9; Anal fin I, 9-10; Caudal fin (segmented rays)15, (branched rays) 10-13; Pectoral fin 14-16; Vertebrae 12-13 + 12-13 = 25; Transverse scales 5-10; Gill rakers 3-4/1/11-14.
Body slender and compressed; depth 10.7-15.4% SL; caudal peduncle slender and elongate, slightly more than twice length second dorsal fin base. Head, slightly compressed, flat on top; anterior nostril a simple pore above middle of upper lip, posterior nostril simple pore above anterodorsal margin of eye. Eyes lateral, 11-15 in SL. Mouth oblique, reaching to or not quite to below anterior margin of eye; vomer with few minute conical, pointed, loosely attached teeth. Gill opening broad, extending anteroventral to preopercle or eye.
Scales ctenoid, reduced, body covered with scales posteriorly, anteriorly scales tapering toward mid-line, extending forward to below middle to end of first dorsal fin; anteriormost scales usually in single line often widely spaced and not in contact with other scales; longitudinal series 25-36; head naked; naked patch below dorsal fin often extending to below end of second dorsal fin; area immediately above anterior half to two-thirds of anal fin base often naked; belly, pectoral base, prepelvic area and head naked.
First dorsal fin elevated in males with pointed margin, fin reaching to or well beyond second dorsal fin origin when depressed; fin of females low and pointed reaching to near, but short of second dorsal origin; second dorsal fin well separated from first dorsal fin, fin elevated, slightly higher than first dorsal fin of female and much higher than body depth, first segmented ray unbranched, others branched; anal fin origin below second dorsal origin; fin slightly lower than second dorsal, but deeper than body, first 1-2 segmented rays unbranched, others branched; caudal fin with truncate to emarginate posterior margin. Pectoral rays seeming unbranched, but often 1-4 central rays with single branch at extreme tip; ventral fin elongate reaching or not quite reaching anus, ventral fin rays unbranched; pectoral fin rays elongate, reaching to or slightly beyond anus.


To around 4 cm SL.


Pale greyish-brown, pale purple ventrally on head, body darker ventrally; scale pockets edged with melanophores and lines of melanophores on skin along margins of muscle segments; males with dense melanophores scattered over body, often more so ventrally on caudal peduncle; females with few scattered melanophores ; large median black blotch ventrally behind urogenital papilla connecting to thin black line on either side of anal fin base, lines joining behind anal fin to form thin median black stripe extending to anterior base of unsegmented caudal rays. First dorsal fin black before fourth spine, black extending onto and along distal tip of fin; fin otherwise mostly clear; second dorsal with large black blotch at base anteriorly, extending just anterior to third segmented ray, thin black distal margin; often with broad, black stripe on distal upper third of fin; rest of fin mostly clear; anal fin mainly reddish orange with faint blotch near base anteriorly; caudal fin pale grey with scattered melanophores. Pectoral base with few scattered melanophores; pectoral fin clear to grey. Pelvic fins clear to white, with few elongate melanophores along lateral margins of rays in males.


Feeds on aquatic invertebrates.


Likely to be oviparous, benthic spawners depositing adhesive eggs onto the substrate.



The species is named for J.B. Hutchins, former Curator of Fishes at the Western Australian Museum, who collected the type specimens.

Species Citation

Kimberleyeleotris hutchinsi Hoese & Allen 1987,  Mem. Mus. Vict. 48(1): 36, figs 1, 2 [incorrectly spelled Kimberleotris hutchinsi]. Type locality: tributary of Mitchell River, Kimberley Region, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Mitchell Gudgeon, Hypseleotris hutchinsi Hoese & Allen 1987


Allen, G.R. 1982. Inland Fishes of Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 86 pp. 6 figs 20 pls [61, pl. 13(7), as New genus and species B]

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

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

Hoese, D.F. & Allen, G.R. 1987. New Australian Fishes. Part 10. A new genus and two new species of freshwater eleotridid fishes (Gobioidei) from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 35-42 figs 1-4 (incorrectly spelled Kimberleotris hutchinsi).

Hutchins, J.B. 1981. Freshwater fish fauna of the Mitchell Plateau Area, Kimberley, Western Australia. Mitchell Plateau and Admiralty Gulf, Kimberley, Western Australia, pp. 229-247. Western Australian Museum, Perth. (as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi)

Morgan, D.L. 2019. Kimberleyeleotris hutchinsi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T10993A123377910. Accessed on 03 August 2022.

Morgan, D.L., Allen, G.R., Pusey, B.J. & Burrows, D.W. 2011. A review of the freshwater fishes of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Zootaxa 2816: 1-64 (as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi)

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. (as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi)

Pusey, B.J., Burrows, D.W., Kennard, M.J., Perna, C.N., Unmack, P.J., Allsop, Q. & Hammer, M.P. 2017. Freshwater fishes of northern Australia. Zootaxa 4253(1): 1-104. (as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi)

Shelley, J.J. & Le Feuvre, M.C. 2018. Family Eleotridae pp. 174-203 in Shelley, J.J. Morgan, D.L., Hammer, M.P., Le Feuvre, M.C., Moore, G.I., Gomon, M.F., Allen, M.G. & Saunders, T. (eds). A field guide to the freshwater fishes of the Kimberley.  Murdoch University Print Production Team : Murdoch, Western Australia, 262 pp. (as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi)

Thacker, C.E., Geiger, D.L. & Unmack, P.J. 2022. Species delineation and systematics of a hemiclonal hybrid complex in Australian freshwaters (Gobiiformes: Gobioidei: Eleotridae: Hypseleotris). Royal Society Open Science 9: 220201.

Unmack, P.J. 2001. Biogeography of Australian freshwater fishes. Journal of Biogeography 28: 1053-1089. (as Kimberleyensis hutchinsi)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37429030


Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable


Max Size:4 cm SL

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