Oxleyan Pygmy Perch, Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley 1940


Other Names: Oxleyan Pigmy Perch

Oxleyan Pygmy Perch, Nannoperca oxleyana, from a small "acid" coast wallum creek at Eastern Beach, Moreton Island National Park, Queensland. Source: John Esdaile / Atlas of Living Australia. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:

A small pale brown to olive pygmy perch with a distinctive orange-rimmed, black spot on the tail base, and relatively large eye encircled with blue. The fins are transparent for most of the year, with the anal fin becoming black and that caudal fin scarlet when breeding.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thmopson, V.J. 2020, Nannoperca oxleyana in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jan 2021, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/1829

Oxleyan Pygmy Perch, Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley 1940

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to eastern Australia, with a patchy distribution from Tin Can Bay, southern Queensland, to Corindi in northern New South Wales, including Fraser Island, Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island, Queensland. 

Inhabits slightly acidic and tannin-stained water in slow-flowing densely-vegetated pools, streams, river channels, lakes and swamps, especially in Banksia-dominated heathlands or 'wallum' habitats. Individuals, pairs and occasionally small groups usually shelter near or among emergent vegetation and plant roots growing into the water from undercut or vertical banks.

Features

Dorsal fin VII, 8-9; Anal fin III, 7-9; Pectoral fin 12; Gill rakers 9-12.

Body relatively deep, compressed; mouth relatively small, jaws reaching to below anterior part of pupil; eyes relatively large; rear edge of preorbital smooth; teeth in front of lower jaw enlarged; lateral line absent.

Scales ctenoid, lateral-line scales absent, mid-lateral scales 25 to 26, transverse scale rows 13.

Single notched dorsal fin with anterior spinous section and posterior soft rayed section; anal fin similar and opposite to posterior portion of dorsal fin; caudal fin truncated.

Size

To 6cm SL, commonly to 4cm.

Colour

Pale brown to olive, darker on back; eye encircled with blue; scales with dusky outlines; prominent round black spot with orange margin at base of caudal fin; fins mainly clear.

During the breeding season, the body and caudal fin of males becomes more intensely red, and the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins darken.

Feeding

Feeds mostly on aquatic insects and their larvae, but also consumes microcrustaceans and some algae.

Biology

Individuals mature after 4-5 months, and spawn mostly between September and December (but may extend into April or May) when average water temperature and day length reaches or exceeds 16.6 C and 10.7 hours, respectively.

Males defend patches of aquatic vegetation into which pairs spawn and fertilise eggs. Females continually produce small batches of eggs during the breeding period.

Conservation

IUCN Red List: Endangered

EPBC Act 1999: Endangered

NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994 : Endangered

QLD Nature Conservation Act 1992: Vulnerable

The species is threatened by habitat loss and degradation (land clearing, coastal development, mining) and competition and predation by Eastern Gambusia, Gambusia holbrooki. Populations are also isolated by large land distances, preventing gene flow.

Similar Species

Easily distinguished from other species in the genus Nannoperca by the lack of a lateral line and the orange-edged black spot on the caudal peduncle.

Etymology

Nannoperca is from the Latin nannus meaning small, and the Greek perke meaning perch = dwarf perch, in reference to the small size of this species.

Species Citation

Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley 1940, Aust. Zool. 9(4): 419. Type locality: Moreton Island, Queensland.

Author

Bray, D.J. & Thmopson, V.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Oxleyan Pygmy Perch, Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley 1940

References


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

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

Arthington, A.H. 1994. Freshwater fishes of Stradbroke, Moreton and Fraser Island, pp 279-282 in Covacevich, J. & Davie, P. (eds) Focus on Stradbroke. Boolarong Press, Brisbane.

Arthington, A.H. 1996. Recovery Plan for the Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana. Final Report to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency.

Arthington, A.H. & Hughes, J.M. 1996. Part C Conservation Status of Nannoperca oxleyana and Recovery Plan, pp 97-117 in Arthington, A,H. (ed.) Recovery Plan for the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana. Centre Catchment & In-stream Research, Griffith University, Queensland.

Arthington, A.H. & Marshall, C.J. 1996. Threatened fishes of the world: Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley, 1940 (Nannopercidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 46: 150.

Arthington, A.H., Thompson, C.J. & Esdaile, J. 1996. Part A Distribution and Ecology, pp 1-84 in Arthington, A,H. (ed.) Recovery Plan for the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana. Centre Catchment & In-stream Research, Griffith University, Queensland.

Buckley, S.J., Domingos, F.M.C.B., Attard, C.R.M., Brauer, C.J., Sandoval-Castillo, J., Lodge, R., Unmack, P.J. & Beheregaray, L.B. 2018. Phylogenomic history of enigmatic pygmy perches: implications for biogeography, taxonomy and conservation. Royal Society Open Science http://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.172125

Butler, G., Gilligan, D., Arthington, A. & Brooks, S. 2019. Nannoperca oxleyana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T14321A123378439. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T14321A123378439.en. Downloaded on 06 October 2020.

Hughes, J.M., Hurwood, D.A. &  Ponniah, M.H. 1996. Part B Population Genetics, pp 85-95 in Arthington, A,H. (ed.) Recovery Plan for the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana. Centre Catchment & In-stream Research, Griffith University, Queensland.

Hughes, J., Ponniah, M., Hurwood, D., Chenoweth, S. & Arthington, A. 1999. Strong genetic structuring in a habitat specialist, the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana. Heredity 83: 5-14. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.hdy.6885390

Jerry, D.R., Elphinstone, M.S. & Baverstock, P.R. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships of Australian members of the family Percichthyidae inferred from mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequence data. Phylogenetics and Evolution 18(3): 335-347.

Knight, J.T. 2000. Distribution, population structure and habitat preferences of the Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana (Whitley 1940) near Evans Head, northeastern New South Wales. Unpublished Bachelor of Applied Science Honours Thesis, Lismore, Southern Cross University.

Knight J.T. 2008. Aspects of the biology and conservation of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley. PhD Thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales.

Knight, J.T. 2016. Distribution and conservation status of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley in New South Wales. NSW DPI – Fisheries Final Report Series No. 153, 107 pp.

Knight, J.T. & Arthington, A.H. 2008. Distribution and habitat associations of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch, Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley, in eastern Australia. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18(7): 1240-1254.

Knight, J.T., Arthington, A.H., Holder, G.S. & Talbot, R.B. 2012. Conservation biology and management of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana in Australia. Endangered Species Research 17: 169–178

Knight, J.T., Butler, G.L., Smith, P.S. & Wager, R.N.E. 2007. Reproductive biology of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley. Journal of Fish Biology 71: 1494-1511.

Knight, J.T., Glasby, T.M. & Brooks, L.O. 2007. A sampling protocol for the endangered freshwater fish, Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley. Australian Zoologist 34:148-157.

Knight, J.T., Nock, C.J., Elphinstone, M.S. & Baverstock, P.R. 2009. Conservation implications of distinct genetic structuring in the endangered freshwater fish Nannoperca oxleyana (Percichthyidae). Marine and Freshwater Research 60: 34-44.

Knight, J.T. & Trnski, T. 2011. Early development of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley (Percichthyidae). Australian Zoologist 35(3): 895-909. https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2011.044

Kuiter, R.H. & Allen, G.R.1986. A synopsis of the Australian pygmy perches (Percichthyidae) with the description of a new species. Revue Française Aquariologie 12(4): 109-116

Kuiter, R.H., Humphries, P.A. & Arthington, A.H. 1996. Family Nannopercidae. pp. 168-175 in McDowall, R.M. (ed.) Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.

Lake, J.S. 1971. Freshwater Fishes and Rivers of Australia. Melbourne : Nelson 61 pp. 

Lake, J.S. 1978. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Melbourne : Thomas Nelson 160 pp. 140 figs.

Leggett R. 1990. A fish in danger – Nannoperca oxleyana. Fishes of Sahul 6(1): 247-249.

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

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management.  Sydney: J.R. Merrick 409 pp. (as Edelia obscura)

NSW Department of Primary Industries. 2015. Review of the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Recovery Plan. 9 pp.

Priestly, D. 1995. The Oxleyan pygmy perch needs your help! ANGFA Bulletin (Bulletin of the Australia New Guinea Fishes Association 19: 5.

Pusey, B.J., Kennard, M.J. & Arthington, A.H. 2004. Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia. Collingwood, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 684 pp.

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Thompson, C., Arthington, A. &  Kennard, M. 2000. Threatened Fish Profile Oxleyan Pygmy Perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley, 1940. Australian Society for Fish Biology Newsletter 30(1): 31-32.

Thompson, C., Arthington, A. & Kennard, M. 2000. Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley, 1940. Australian Society for Fish Biology Newsletter 30(1): 31-32.

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Wager R. 1992. The Oxleyan pygmy perch: maintaining breeding populations. Fishes of Sahul 7(2): 310-312.

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Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37323008

Conservation:IUCN & EPBC Act Endangered

Habitat:Freshwater

Max Size:7.5 cm SL

Native:Endemic

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