Spotted Galaxias, Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes 1846

Other Names: Minnow, Mountain Trout, Native Trout, Ocellated Mountain Trout, Spotted Minnow, Spotted Mountain Trout, Spotted Trout, Spotted Trout Minnow, Trout Galaxias, Trout Minnnow, Western Mountain Trout, Yarra Trout
Spotted Galaxias, Galaxias truttaceus, from Blackfish Creek, Wilsons Promontory

A Spotted Galaxias, Galaxias truttaceus, from Blackfish Creek, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Source: Ken Harris / Museum Victoria. License: CC BY Attribution


A distinctive galaxias with vertical rows of pale-edged dark spots along the side, a dark diagonal stripe below the eye and reddish-orange fins with dark margins. Trout Galaxias have a wider body than most other Galaxias species.

Although eastern and western Trout Galaxias populations are genetically distinct, Morgan et al. (2016) found no evidence that these subpopulations reflect either different species or subspecies.

Video of Galaxias truttaceus from the Freshwater Fish Group, Murdoch University.

Galaxias truttaceus at Wilsons Promontory, Victoria.

Galaxias truttaceus at Waratah Bay in the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park in Victoria. Common Galaxias, Galaxias maculatus, can also be seen briefly at several points in the video.

Spotted Galaxias (Galaxias truttaceus), Common Galaxias (Galaxias maculatus), Freshwater Flathead, Congolli (Pseudaphritis urvillii) and Southern Shortfin Eel (Anguilla australis) in Fotheringate Creek, Flinders Island, Tasmania.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2020, Galaxias truttaceus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 Nov 2020,

Spotted Galaxias, Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes 1846

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Mallacoota Inlet (Victoria) to Eight Mile Creek, Port MacDonnell (South Australia), including Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands, and the Albany district (118ºE) and Kentdale Creek, Kent River Catchment (Western Australia). 

Usually found around aquatic vegetation, rocks or logs on the margins of still or flowing rivers, streams and lakes. Juveniles have been observed ‘climbing’ and ‘jumping’ to successfully negotiate a low, vertical weir wall during their upstream recruitment migrations in south-western Australia.


Dorsal fin 11-15 (usually 12-14); Anal fin 14-19; Pectoral fin 13-16 (usually 14-15).

Body stout, elongate, greatest depth 5.4-5.8 in SL; head long, broad and deep; mouth large, reaching back to below front of eyes; jaws equal; enlarged canines absent from jaws; pyloric caeca reduced to vestiges. Scales absent.

Fins large; anal fin origin slightly behind level of dorsal fin origin; caudal fin emarginate.


To about 20 cm SL, commonly 12-14 cm.


Brown to olive overall with pale-edged dark spots scattered on the back and sides and a dark diagonal bar below the eye. Fins reddish-orange with dark posterior margins.


Adults feed on aquatic insect larvae, and terrestrial insects that fall onto the water surface; larvae feed mainly on microcrustaceans.


Coastal populations in eastern Australia spawn in autumn to winter and the larvae have a marine phase of several months before returning to estuaries at 45-65 mm in spring. Spawning occurs in spring in land-locked populations after an upstream migration to feeder streams with larvae completing their pelagic phase in lakes.

Around 1000-16000 small adhesive eggs are deposited amongst dense submerged vegetation during Autumn. Larvae hatch at 6.5-9.0 mm TL after about 4 weeks, and are swept out to sea. The larvae spend several months in the open ocean before returning as transparent 'whitebait' in Spring.

Populations in southwestern Australia are landlocked and potamodromous. They migrate upstream within rivers to spawn in mid-late autumn, and use downstream lacustrine environments as a nursery before migrating back into the river systems as juveniles.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Critically Endangered (Western Australian subspecies)
  • The genetically distinct Western Australian population of Galaxias truttaceus is listed as Endangered under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
  • Species Citation

    Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes 1846, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 18: 344, pl. 543. Type locality: Tasmania.


    Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2020


    Atlas of Living Australia

    Spotted Galaxias, Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes 1846


    Allen, G.R. 1982. Inland Fishes of Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 86 pp. 6 figs 20 pls.

    Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey.

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

    Close, P.G., T.J. Ryan, D.L. Morgan, S.J. Beatty & C.S. Lawrence. 2014. First record of ‘climbing’ and ‘jumping’ by juvenile Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes, 1846 (Galaxiidae) from south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 62(2): 175-179.

    Colman, J.G. 2010. New records of Galaxias truttaceus (Galaxiidae) in the Kent River catchment, southwestern Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 93(4): 189-193.

    Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

    Humphries, P. 1989. Variation in life history of diadromous and landlocked populations of spotted galaxias Galaxias truttaceus, Valenciennes, in Tasmania. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 40: 501-515.

    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.

    McAleer, F.J. 2005. Larval development and ontogenetic changes in the diet of Trout Minnow (Galaxias truttaceus, Valenciennes 1846) in South Western Western Australia Honours Thesis, Murdoch University, Perth.

    McDowall, R.M. 1994. Families Retropinnidae, Prototroctidae, Galaxiidae. pp. 232-239 figs 207-212 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

    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. (ed.) 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.

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

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

    Morgan, D.L. 2003. Distribution and biology of Galaxias truttaceus (Galaxiidae) in south-western Australia, including first evidence of parasitism of fish in Western Australia by Ligula intestinalis (Cestoda). Environmental Biology of Fishes 66: 155–167.

    Morgan, D.L., & Beatty, S.J. 2006. Use of a vertical-slot fishway by galaxiids in Western Australia. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 15: 500-509.

    Morgan, D.L., & Beatty, S.J. 2004. Fish Utilisation of the Goodga River Fishway – conserving the Western Australian trout minnow (Galaxias truttaceus), Murdoch University, Perth.

    Morgan DL, Beatty SJ, Close PG, Allen MG, Unmack PJ, Hammer MP, Adams M. (2016) Resolving the taxonomy, range and ecology of biogeographically isolated and critically endangered populations of an Australian freshwater galaxiid, Galaxias truttaceus. Pacific Conservation Biology -

    Morgan DL, Beatty SJ, Klunzinger MW, Allen MG, Burnham QF (2011). A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes, Crayfishes & Mussels of South-Western Australia. SERCUL, Beckenham, WA. 68 pp. 

    Morgan, D.L., Gill, H.S., Maddern, M.G. & Beatty, S.J. 2004. Distribution and impacts of introduced freshwater fishes in Western Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38: 511-523.

    Morgan, D.L., Gill, H.S. & Potter, I.C. 1998. Distribution, identification and biology of freshwater fishes in south-western Australia. Records of Western Australia Museum Supplement 56: 1-97.

    Morgan DL, Unmack PJ, Beatty SJ, Ebner BC, Allen MG, Keleher JJ, Donaldson JA, Murphy J (2014) An overview of the ‘freshwater fishes’ of Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 97: 263-278. 

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

    Rowland FJ, Close PG, Beatty SJ, Allen MG, Gill HS, Berkelaar JS, Morgan DL (2017) Larval development and dietary ontogeny of a critically endangered galaxiid within a Mediterranean climatic zone of Australia. FiSHMED Fishes in Mediterranean Environments 2017.001: 14 pp. Open access

    Scott, E.O.G. 1936. Observations on fishes of the family Galaxiidae. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1935: 85-112 figs 1-4

    Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1846. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 18 505 pp. pls 520-553.

    Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC). 2008. Western Trout Minnow (Galaxias truttaceus hesperius) Recovery Plan. 22 pp. PDF

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37102010

    Biology:Diadromous, marine larvae (E AUS)

    Conservation:EPBC Act Critically Endangered (WA population)

    Habitat:Freshwater, marine larvae

    Max Size:20 cm SL


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