Freshwater Herring, Potamalosa richmondia (Macleay 1879)

Other Names: Australian Freshwater Herring, Nepean Herring

Freshwater Herring, Potamalosa richmondia. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

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Gomon 2010, Potamalosa richmondia in Fishes of Australia, accessed 12 Apr 2021,

Freshwater Herring, Potamalosa richmondia (Macleay 1879)

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Known only from Richmond River, NSW (28°50’S) to Mallacoota, VIC; temperate; pelagic; usually inhabiting clear, moderately flowing rivers and streams but also found in sluggish lowland rivers, estuaries and possibly also in marine waters.


D 15-18; A 15-17; P 15-19; V 8
Slender, compressed body; ventral profile convex, dorsal profile somewhat flattened; head moderately sized; snout elongate and rounded; eye large, positioned near dorsal profile; mouth terminal, upturned; lower jaw protruding, large; gape extending to about level of middle of eye; jaws toothless
Head and operculum scaleless; body covered with moderately large, thin, cycloid scales; scales form sharp, serrated dorsal ridge anterior to dorsal fin; ventral ridge also present; lateral line absent.
Single, short-based, triangular, pointed dorsal fin; anal fin small and low; pectoral fins elongate, pointed, positioned low on sides; ventral fins small, pointed, situated on abdomen; caudal fin well developed, deeply forked, lobes pointed.


Maximum size about 32 cm, commonly to 15 cm.


Usually silvery overall, with a greenish tinge (especially dorsally), and 2 indistinct longitudinal stripes below the mid-line. Fins colourless to yellowish.


Feeds primarily on worms, small crustaceans and insects.


Little is known of the reproductive biology of this species. Likely to be an oviparous pelagic spawner.


Fast-moving, schooling fish. Little is known of the biology of this species, although it may have a catadromous life cycle. Downstream migration to estuaries, presumably for spawning has been reported in winter months (July-August).

Species Citation

Clupea richmondia Macleay W.J. (1879). On the Clupeidae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. (1)4(3): 363-385. Richmond River, NSW.


Gomon 2010

Freshwater Herring, Potamalosa richmondia (Macleay 1879)


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

Paxton, J. R. , D. F. Hoese, G. R. Allen and J. E. Hanley 1989 Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 7. Pisces. Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 7. v. 7: i-xii + 1-665.

Cadwallader, P.L. and G.N. Backhouse 1983 A guide to the freshwater fish of Victoria. Government Printers. Melbourne. 249 p.

Merrick, J.R. and G.E. Schmida 1984 Australian freshwater fishes: biology and management. Griffin Press Ltd., South Australia. 409 p.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37085027

Habitat:freshwater rivers and estuaries

Max Size:32 cm

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