Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus Günther 1866

Other Names: Barred Galaxias, Brown Galaxias, Brown Minnow, Inland Galaxias, Inland Mountain Trout, Johnston's Mountain Trout, Kosciusko Trout, Ornate Mountain Galaxias, Ornate Mountain Trout, Queensland Mountain Trout, Schomburgk's Minnow, South Australian Minnow

Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus, in the headwaters of the Murray River, Cowombat Flat, Victorian Alps. Source: Julian K. Finn / Museums Victoria. License: CC BY Attribution


Mountain Galaxias inhabit clear alpine and subalpine streams of south-eastern Australia with sandy, gravelly and/or boulder substrates.

Identifying features - body small, stout, fins small and fleshy; dorsal fin origin in advance of anal-fin origin. Colour variable ranging from yellowish-green to brown above with darker speckles, blotches, bands or bars, underside pale.

The Galaxias olidus complex was recently revised by Tarmo Raadik, who determined that it comprises 15 species, 12 of which are new species.

Video clip of Mountain Galaxias in the Grampians, Victoria

Mountain Galaxias in Jamison Creek at Wentworth Falls, in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2024, Galaxias olidus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus Günther 1866

More Info


Endemic to alpine and subalpine areas of south-eastern Australia from Condamine River, Queensland (26°51’S) to Fifth Creek, South Australia (138°42’E) in systems draining to the coast from the Great Dividing Range as well as those draining into the Murray-Darling drainage.

Inhabits clear pools in small, flowing and slower flowing streams, prefering areas with sandy, gravelly or rocky substrates. Individuals are oftens seen among rocks and boulders, or near vegetation near at the stream edge, or swimming in small schools in slower flowing areas.


Dorsal fin 10-17; Anal fin 11-17; Pectoral fin 11-18; Gill rakers 10-15.

Body slender, elongate, tubular; body depth at vent 6.7-10.1 in SL; head small, length 18.6-25.1% SL; eyes small; jaws equal; snout blunt; mouth reaching to below eye; single pyloric caecum. Scales absent.

Anal fin origin below or behind middle of dorsal fin; pectoral and pelvic fins small; caudal fin emarginate.


To 13.5 cm TL, commonly 6-8 cm.


Yellowish-green to brown overall with a varied combination of dark bands, blotches or mottling on the sides.


Carnivore - feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates, including insects aquatic and terrestrial), crustaceans, worms and molluscs.


Oviparous, benthic spawners; become reproductively mature at the end of their first or early into their second year. Spawning occurs mainly in Spring and early summer but some individuals may spawn into autumn. Females deposit 50-350 eggs onto the underside of stones and boulders in riffles and at the head of pools.

The eggs are about 2.5 mm in diameter, and the larvae hatch at about 10 mm TL, after around 3 weeks.


Galaxias olidus populations have been affected by alterations to stream flows, habitat destruction, changes in water quality and the introduction of redfin and trout into their habitat.

In New South Wales and Victoria, trout have reduced both the range and numbers of Mountain Galaxias, and the species is only found in areas where trout do not occur.


Until Raadik (2014), Galaxias olidus was considered to be a highly variable and widespread non-diadromous galaxiid. The Galaxias olidus complex now comprises more than 15 species, of which 12 were recently described.

Similar Species

Similar to Galaxias brevipinnis but distinguished by the paler overall colouration, lack of a dark blotch above the pectoral fin and less developed pectoral and pelvic fins.

Differs from Galaxias maculatus in having the dorsal fin originating in advance of the anal-fin origin.


The specific name olidus is from the Latin olida, olid, or olidum, meaning 'smell' or 'foul smelling', 'stinking'. The reason for the name is unclear as live or freshly preserved specimens do not have a distinctive odour (Raadik 2011).

Species Citation

Galaxias olidus Günther 1866. Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum Vol. 6 368 pp. Type locality: Queensland.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2024


Atlas of Living Australia

Catalog of Fishes

Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus Günther 1866


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. 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.

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

Cadwallader, P.L., Eden, A.K. & Hook, R.A. 1980. The role of streamside vegetation as a food source for Galaxias olidus Günther (Pisces: Galaxiidae). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 31: 257–262.

Cook, B.D., Kennard, M.J., Adams, M., et al. 2019. Hydrographic correlates of within‐river distribution and population genetic structure in two widespread species of mountain galaxias (Teleostei, Galaxiidae) in southern Australia. Freshwater Biology 64: 506-519.

Günther, A. 1866. Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Salmonidae, Percopsidae, Galaxidae, Mormyridae, Gymnarchidae, Esocidae, Umbridae, Scombresocidae, Cyprinodontidae, in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 6 368 pp.

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

Lintermans, M. 2000. Recolonisation by the mountain galaxias Galaxias olidus of a montane stream after the eradication of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Marine and Freshwater Research 51: 799–804.

Lintermans, M. 2002. Fish in the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment: A Review of Current Knowledge. Environment ACT, Canberra. 92 pp.

Mack, G. 1936. Victorian species of the genus Galaxias with descriptions of two new species. Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria 9: 98-101 figs 1-2

Macleay, W.J. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Part 4. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 6(2): 202-387 [sometimes cited as 1882] (as Galaxias bongbong)

Macleay, W.J. 1882. On a species of Galaxias found in the Australian Alps. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 7(1): 106-109 [dated 1883] (as Galaxias findlayi)

McDowall, R.M. (ed.) 1980. Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 208 pp., figs, 32 pls.

McDowall, R.M. 2006. Crying wolf, crying foul, or crying shame: alien salmonids and a biodiversity crisis in the southern cool-temperate galaxioid fishes? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 16: 233–422.

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

McDowall, R.M. & Fulton, W. 1996. Family Galaxiidae. Pp. 52–77 in: McDowall, R.M. (ed.) Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. 2nd Ed. Reed Books, Sydney.

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs.

O’Connor, W.G. & Koehn, J.D. 1991. Spawning of the mountain galaxias Galaxias olidus Günther, in Bruces Creek, Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 103(2): 113–123.

Ogilby, J.D. 1912. On some Queensland fishes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 1: 26-65 2 figs pls 13-14 (as Galaxias oconnori)

Paxton, J.R., G.R. Allen, J.E. Gates, D.J. Bray & D.F. Hoese 2006. Galaxiidae. pp. 402-411 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp.

Peters, W.C.H. 1868. Über eine neue Nagergattung Chiropodomys penicillatus, so wie über einige neue oder weniger bekannte Amphibien und Fische. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1868: 448-460 figs 1-2 (as Galaxias schomburgkii)

Raadik, T.A. 1992. Distribution of freshwater fishes in east Gippsland, Victoria, 1967–1991. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 104: 1-22.

Raadik, T.A. 2001. When is a mountain galaxias not a mountain galaxias? Fishes of Sahul 15(4): 785–789.

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.

Ramsay, E.P. & Ogilby, J.D. 1886. Descriptions of some new Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 2 1(1): 4-7 (as Galaxias findlayi)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37102018


Habitat:Alpine & subalpine freshwaters

Max Size:13.5 cm TL


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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map