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

Summary:
A bright yellowish-orange to brownish galaxias with up to 10 large oval-shaped bars on the side, 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. 2022, Galaxias fuscus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 May 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1668

Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus Mack 1936

More Info


Distribution

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. 

Features

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.

Size

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

Colour

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

Feeding

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

Biology

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.

Fisheries


Conservation

  • IUCN Endangered
  • Barred Galaxias are threatened by drought, fire, and erosion - exacerbated by climate change. The population is fragmented, and there are two threat-based locations as drought or fire can (and has) realistically affected half of the individuals of the population at a time. Predatory alien species are also present immediately downstream of barriers protecting each subpopulation, and can invade upstream during random events and cause the extirpation of subpopulations - they require frequent checking and removal (Raadik 2019)
  • 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 broad black bars along the side and a more bulbous, a thicker caudal peduncle. They lack the mottled pattern of G. olidus.

    Etymology

    The specific name is from the Latin fuscus (= brown) in reference to the overall colour of this species..

    Species Citation

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

    Author

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

    Resources

    Atlas of Living Australia

    Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus Mack 1936

    References


    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

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

    Armstrong, N. 1993. Re-discovering Galaxias fuscus. Fishes of Sahul, Journal of the Australian New Guinea Fishes Association 7(4): 328-329

    Ayres, R.M., Nicol, M.D. & Raadik, T.A. 2012. Establishing new populations for fire-affected Barred Galaxias (Galaxias fuscus): site selection, trial translocation and population genetics. Black Saturday Victoria 2009 – Natural values fire recovery program. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Victoria.

    Cadwallader, P.L. & Backhouse G.N. 1983. Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Victoria. Victorian Government Printing Office, Melbourne.

    Frankenberg, R. 1969. Studies on the evolution of galaxiid fishes with particular reference to the Australian fauna. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. 185 pp.

    Koehn, J.D. & Raadik, T.A. 1995. Flora and Fauna Guarantee, barred galaxias Galaxias olidus var. fuscus. Action Statement No. 65. (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Melbourne).

    Kuiter, R.H. 2003. More on Galaxias fuscusFishes of Sahul, Journal of the Australian New Guinea Fishes Association 17(3 & 4): 976-977.

    Kuiter, R.H. 2013. Pictorial Guide to Victoria's Freshwater Fishes. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics 178 pp.

    Leggett, R. & Merrick, J.R. 1987. Australian Native Fishes for Aquariums. Artarmon : J.R. Merrick Publications 241 pp. 142 figs.

    Lintermans, M. 2007. Fishes of the Murray-Darling Basin : an introductory guide. Canberra : Murray-Darling Basin Commission, 157 pp.

    Mack, G. 1936. Victorian species of the genus Galaxias with descriptions of two new species. Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 9: 98-101 figs 1-2 https://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.1936.9.05

    McDowall, R.M. & Frankenberg, R.S. 1981. The galaxiid fishes of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 33(10): 443-605 figs 1-47

    Miller, A.D., van Rooyen, A., Ayres, R.M., Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P. & Weeks, A.R. 2012. The development of 24 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered barred galaxias, Galaxias fuscus, through next generation DNA sequencing, Conservation genetics resources 4(3): 613-616, doi: 10.1007/s12686-012-9605-x. 

    Raadik, T.A. 1993. A research recovery plan for the barred galaxias, Galaxias fuscus Mack, in southeastern Australia. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Melbourne.

    Raadik, T.A. 2002. Barred Galaxias recovery project 13695 – final report, Endangered Species Program. Report to Environment Australia, Canberra. Freshwater Ecology, Arthur Rylah Institute, Victoria. 

    Raadik, T.A. 2006. Barred Galaxias - a slow recovery and costly endpoint. Australian Society for Fish Biology, Newsletter 36(1): 69-71.

    Raadik, T.A. 2006. Chapter 13. Freshwater fishes. pp. 133-148 in Museum Victoria and CSIRO Publishing. Melbourne's Wildlife. A Field Guide to the Fauna of Greater Melbourne. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing 348 pp.

    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

    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.

    Raadik, T.A. 2015. Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement No. 65. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne, Victoria.

    Raadik, T. 2019. Galaxias fuscus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T8810A129040660. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T8810A129040660.en. Accessed on 03 March 2022.

    Raadik, T.A., Fairbrother, P.S. & Smith, S.J. 2010. National Recovery Plan for the Barred Galaxias Galaxias fuscus. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne. See ref online

    Raadik, T.A., Saddlier, S.R. & Koehn, J.D. 1996. Threatened fishes of the world: Galaxias fuscus Mack, 1936 (Galaxiidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 47: 108.

    Saddlier, S.R. & Raadik, T.A. 1995. Barred Galaxias Recovery Plan. Protection of the Barred Galaxias, Galaxias fuscus, from trout by building weirs downstream of remaining populations. 1995 Annual Report to the Endangered Species Unit, Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra. 

    Shirley, M.J. & Raadik T.A. 1997. Aspects of the ecology and breeding biology of Galaxias fuscus Mack, in the Goulburn River system, Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 109(2): 157-166.

    Stoessel, D.J., Raadik, T.A. & Ayres, R.M. 2015. Spawning of threatened barred galaxias, Galaxias fuscus (Teleostei: Galaxiidae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 137: 1–6.

    Stoessel, D.J., Raadik, T.A., Nicol, M.D., Fairbrother, P.S. & Campbell-Beschorner, R. 2020. Captive breeding of two rare non-migratory galaxiids (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) for species conservation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 132(1): 42-48 https://doi.org/10.1071/RS20003

    Unmack, P.J. 2001. Biogeography of Australian freshwater fishes. Journal of Biogeography 28: 1053-1089

    Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37102023

    Conservation:IUCN Endangered

    Habitat:Freshwater

    Max Size:16 cm TL

    Native:Endemic

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