Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus Mack 1936

Other Names: Brown Galaxias, Brown Minnow

A Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A bright yellowish-orange to brownish galaxias with up to 10 broad dark bars along the sides, usually towards front of body. This non-migratory species occurs only in cool mountain streams of the Goulburn River catchment in Central Victoria. 
Barred Galaxias in the headwaters of the Goulburn River, Victoria.
Barred Galaxias in the Goulburn River catchment.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2019, Galaxias fuscus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Oct 2021,

Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus Mack 1936

More Info


Endemic to the upper headwaters of the Goulbourn River system of Central Victoria - on the Murray–Darling Basin side of the Great Dividing Range. Once widespread, the species is now only occurs in 12 small and geographically isolated populations in headwater creeks and streams above an elevation of 400 m. 

Barred Galaxias inhabit small, shallow streams in altitudes of 400 to about 1200 metres. They occur in clear, cool (less than 15ºC during summer months), flowing water with boulder, pebble, gravel or sandy substrates - usually preferring slow-flowing deep pools near faster-flowing water. 


Dorsal fin 12; Anal fin 12; Pectoral fin 12-16.

Body elongate, cylindrical; head short and bulbous, caudal peduncle thick; jaw teeth conical, arranged in a single row.
Scales absent; lateral line a series of pores in shallow mid-lateral groove.

Caudal fin truncate to weakly forked; anal fin originates behind the middle of the dorsal fin; fin spines absent; ventral fins abdominal.


Maximum size 16cm TL, commonly 7-9 cm TL.


Yellow-orange to brownish overall with 1-10 complete or partial dark vertical ovoid blotches usually towards front of body.


Feeds mostly on aquatic insects, but also on molluscs, worms, and takes terrestrial insects from the water surface.


Spawning occurs mid-August to late September in cool moderately-flowing freshwater streams immediately upstream of pools. The eggs are aters (range 8.4 – 10 °C, mean 9.1°C) immediately upstream of pools.

Multi-layered clusters of up to 218 eggs were generally adhered close to the stream bed on the downstream side of cobbles greater than 180 mm diameter.Spawns from late winter to early spring. Females release up to 600 eggs onto cobbles, rocks and woody debris close to the stream bed.

Eggs are large, around 2.2 mm diameter, demersal and adhesive.



  • EPBC Act 1999 : Endangered
  • IUCN Red List : Critically Endangered
  • Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 : Threatened
  • Barred Galaxias are threatened by introduced Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout, along with habitat change due to drought, bushfires and climate change. The species is also threatened by forest logging within its habitat, which may result in soil, rocks and debris washing into streams during heavy rainfall.
  • Remarks

    This species is non-migratory and the entire lifecycle is completed within their home stream. Movement between the remaining populations of G. fuscus is restricted by the presence of predatory trout.

    Similar Species

    Differs from Galaxias olidus in being overall bright orange-yellow in colour, with up to 10 wide black vertical bars on sides. they also have a more bulbous, a thicker caudal peduncle and lack the mottled pattern of G. olidus.


    Galaxias comes from the Greek meaning Milky Way and fuscus from the Latin meaning brown.

    Species Citation

    Galaxias fuscus Mack, 1936, Mem. Natl. Mus. Vict. 9: 98-101. Type locality: Rubicon River, Victoria.


    Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2019


    Atlas of Living Australia

    Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus Mack 1936


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    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37102023

    Conservation:EPBC Act Endangered; VIC Threatened

    Conservation:IUCN Critically Endangered


    Max Size:16 cm TL


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