Arthurs Galaxias, Paragalaxias mesotes McDowall & Fulton 1978

Other Names: Arthurs Galaxias, Arthurs Paragalaxias, Arthur's Paragalaxias

Arthurs Galaxias, Paragalaxias mesotes. Source: Robert M. McDowall. License: All rights reserved


A small galaxias found only in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.

Identifying features:
Body small and stout with a long blunt snout;
Overall dark greenish-brown above, extedning on sides as bands and patches over a yellowish background, belly silvery-grey:
Fins clear with faint brownish-orange pigment along fin rays.

Cite this page as:
Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray, Paragalaxias mesotes in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 Sep 2023,

Arthurs Galaxias, Paragalaxias mesotes McDowall & Fulton 1978

More Info


Known only from Arthur's Lake, Lake River and Woods Lake, Tasmania; also found in an artificial canal that transfers water from Arthurs Lake to Great Lake nearby. Inhabits near-shore environments, sheltering amongst rocks or vegetation; also found in pools of outlet streams.


Meristic features: Dorsal-fin rays 10-13; Anal-fin rays 8-10 (usually 9); Pectoral-fin rays 13-15; Pelvic-fin rays 6; Caudal-fin rays 15; Vertebrae 40-41

Body elongate and slender; trunk cylindrical to slightly compressed; head depressed; body depth at vent 6.8-8.0; head long, sloping; snout long, blunt; mouth large, reaching just beyond front of eyes, slightly oblique; jaws equal; jaw teeth conical without enlarged canines laterally; lateral line present; open pores present on head, rows of laterosensory papillae on head and tail base;

Dorsal fin short-based, rounded, inserted behind pelvic fin bases; anal fin smaller than dorsal fin, originating below rear of dorsal fin; pectoral fins of moderate size, inserted low on sides; pelvic fins of moderate size, inserted behind mid-point of body; caudal fin slightly forked to emarginate, tips rounded.


To 8 cm SL, commonly to 6 cm.


Olive-green to golden overall with an irregular pattern of well defined greyish-brown patches. Fins translucent with faint pigmentation on finrays.


Diet includes midge and caddisfly larvae, amphipods, other crustaceans and oligochaete worms.


The entire lifecycle is completed in freshwater. Clusters of eggs are spawned under boulders and are guarded until the larvae hatch.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Endangered
  • IUCN Red List : Vulnerable
  • Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995: Endangered
  • Etymology

    The species name mesotes is from the Greek mesotes in reference to this species being intermediate in behaviour and other characteristics between P. eleotroides and P. dissimilis.

    Species Citation

    Paragalaxias mesotes McDowall & Fulton, 1978, Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 29(1): 103 figs 4, 9. Type locality: Arthur's Lake, Tasmania.


    Martin F. Gomon & Dianne J. Bray

    Arthurs Galaxias, Paragalaxias mesotes McDowall & Fulton 1978


    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.

    Department of the Environment and Heritage. 2005. Paragalaxias mesotes (Arthurs Paragalaxias). Available at:

    Fulton, W. 1982. Observations on the ecology of four species of the genus Paragalaxias (Pisces: Galaxiidae) from Tasmania. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 33: 999-1016.33: 999-1016.

    Fulton, W. 1988. The freshwater fish fauna of Tasmania's western Central Plateau. pp. 1-23. Inland Fisheries Commission, Hobart.

    Fulton, W. 1990. Tasmanian Freshwater Fishes: Fauna of Tasmania Handbook No. 7. University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania.

    Hardie, S.A., Jackson, J.E., Barmuta, L.A. & White, R.W.G. 2006. Status of galaxiid fishes in Tasmania, Australia: conservation listings, threats and management issues. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 16: 235-250.

    Hardie, S.A., Macfarlane, K.R. & Barmuta, L.A. 2011. Life histories of galaxiid fishes in Arthurs Lake and Great Lake, Tasmania, and effects on water level fluctuations on their populations. Hydro Tasmania, Hobart. 200p.

    Humphries, P. & K. Walker (eds). 2013. Ecology of Australian freshwater fishes. CSIRO Publishing. 440p.

    Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H. 2009. Paragalaxias mesotes. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <>. Downloaded on 10 June 2012.

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

    McDowall, R.M. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships and ecomorphological divergence in sympatric and allopatric species of Paragalaxias (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) in high elevation Tasmanian lakes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 53: 235-257.

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

    McDowall, R.M. & Fulton, W. 1978. A further new species of Paragalaxias Scott (Salmoniformes : Galaxiidae), from Tasmania with a revised key to the species. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 29(5): 659–665

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

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

    Threatened Species Section. 2006. Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Galaxiidae 2006-2010. pp. 85. Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart, Tasmania.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37102015


    Conservation:IUCN Vulnerable; EPBC Act Endangered

    Habitat:Freshwater lakes

    Max Size:8 cm SL


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