Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883

Other Names: Golden Mountain Trout, Saddled Galaxias, Spotted Mountain Trout

Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved


A large robust golden-amber galaxias with dark elliptical spots on the back and sides, a silvery-grey belly, and dorsal, anal and pelvic fins pale orange to amber with broad black margins. Golden Galaxias have a long slender snout, jaws about equal in length, and the anal fin originates a little behind the dorsal-fin origin.

Golden Galaxias are found only on the Central Plateau of Tasmania.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Thompson, V.J. 2020, Galaxias auratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2023,

Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883

More Info


Endemic to the Central Plateau of Tasmania, occurring naturally only in Lake Sorell, Lake Crescent and associated streams and wetlands. Although common in both lakes, Golden Galaxias are much more common in Lake Sorell. Two small translocated populations were also established in farm dams in the Clyde River catchment, although only one population remains.

Mostly inhabits lakes, with adults preferring the vegetated and rocky shores of still or slow-flowing lakes and streams. Juveniles shoal in open water, moving inshore as they grow.


Dorsal fin 9-13 (usually 11-13); Anal fin 13-16 (usually 14-15); Pectoral fin 14-18 (usually 14-15); Vertebrae 53-56 (usually 54 or 55).

Body streamlined, elongate and stout; head long; snout slender; mouth large reaching back to eyes; jaws about equal with enlarged canines laterally; depth at vent 5.4-6.7 in SL; lateral line present; gill rakers on first arch 16-20 (usually 18 or 19).

Fins well developed, thick and fleshy at bases; single dorsal fin, ventral fins situated on central abdominal; adipose fin absent; anal fin origin below middle of dorsal fin; caudal fin slightly forked.


Maximum size to 24 cm SL, commonly to 15 cm.


Golden to olive overall with dark circular spots on back and dark ovoid markings on sides. Hind margin of dorsal, anal and pelvic fins black.


Feeds on insects, molluscs and small crustaceans. Larvae feed on plankton and pelagic insect larvae.


Spawning occurs late autumn to early spring with a peak in winter. Females lay large numbers (1000-15,000) of small demersal adhesive eggs (1.5 mm diameter) onto cobble or rocky substrates, or onto aquatic vegetation around lake margins. Larvae hatch at 5-6mm. Golden Galaxias live up to 6 years, although most reach 3-4 years of age.


IUCN: Endangered

EPBC Act: Endangered

ASFB: Endangered

Tasmania: Near Threatened

Golden Galaxias populations are threatened by introduced species such as carp due to habitat degradation, and by trout which are major predators. They are also threatened by loss and degradation of their habitat.

Similar Species

Golden Galaxias are usually stouter and have more distinct spots and darker fin edges than the Saddled Galaxias, Galaxias tanycephalus.

Species Citation

Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883, Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1882: 53-144, Lake Sorell [as near Great Lake], Tasmania, Australia, elevation 4000 feet.


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


Atlas of Living Australia

Golden Galaxias, Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37102001

Conservation:EPBC Act Endangered; TAS Near threatened

Conservation:IUCN Endangered

Habitat:Freshwater lakes & streams

Max Size:24 cm SL


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