Pacific Blue Eye, Pseudomugil signifer Kner 1867


Other Names: Blue Eye, Blue-eye, Island Blue-eye, Northern Blue Eye, Northern Blue-eye, Pacific Blue-eye, Southern Blue-eye

A Pacific Blue Eye, Pseudomugil signifer, in Colosseum Creek, Queensland, October 2008. Source: leo-seq / iNaturalist.org. License: CC BY Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:
The Pacific Blue Eye is a relatively large, common species that displays a wide range of morphological variation among geographic areas. This species is found along the Queensland and New South Wales coast and tolerates a wide range of salinities from fresh water to sea water. A distinctive long-finned variety occurs in coastal north Queensland.
Pacific Blue Eyes in Babinda Creek, Wanyurr Majay Yidinji Country, Far North Queensland.

Cite this page as:
Thompson, V.J. & Bray, D.J. 2022, Pseudomugil signifer in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Feb 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4096

Pacific Blue Eye, Pseudomugil signifer Kner 1867

More Info


Distribution

Widespread in streams and estuaries along eastern Australia, usually within 15-20km of the sea - from Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, to the Wonboyn River Estuary, southern New South Wales, including some offshore islands such as Lizard Island, the Low Isles and Fraser Island, Queensland. 
Occurs in a range of marine to freshwater habitats, including tidal mangrove creeks and fringing coastal mangroves, coastal lakes, around offshore islands, and clear, cool, fast-flowing forest streams. Forms loose schools of hundreds to thousands of individuals.

Features

Dorsal fin III-VI + 7-11; Anal fin 10-13; Pectoral fin 9-14; Pelvic fin 5; Caudal fin 15

Body relatively elongate, laterally compressed; greatest body depth 23.3-30.4 in SL; head length 26.3-28.4 in SL; snout length 6.1-8.0 in SL; mouth subvertical and small with a protractile maxillary; jaw teeth conical to caniniform, posterior premaixillary teeth enlarged and exposed when mouth closed; with or without one or more rows extending outside of mouth; vomer and palatines toothless; eye relatively large, eye diameter 9.0-10.5 in SL; mandibular pores present; head pores large.

Scales relatively large, cycloid with well-developed radii; horizontal scale rows 6; vertical scale rows 26 to 30; cheek with few scales.

Two separate dorsal fins; dorsal and anal fins lack rigid spines; first dorsal originating before tip of pectoral about midway along body; anal originating under end or just behind first dorsal and in front of second dorsal origin; pectoral fins pointed, short and set in a horizontal plane; males with elongate anterior dorsal, anal and ventral fin rays; caudal fin forked with rounded tips.

Size

To 7cm SL, commonly to 4 cm.

Colour

Eye blue; body and fin coloration varies from semi-transparent yellowish-tan to silvery blue-grey with dark scale outlines; often with a row of long white spots across mid-line; iridescent mid lateral spots often present; fins clear to yellow-orange; males with black blotches at base of anal and second dorsal fins which may also have a white edge; males color intensifies during breeding.

Feeding

Feeds mainly on micro-crustaceans and insect larvae.

Biology

Breed opportunistically throughout the year. Males display to females by intensifying their colours and erecting their ornate fins. Breeding episodes last several days with females depositing 4-10 adhesive eggs per day amongst aquatic vegetation. 
Eggs have adhesive filaments and are around 1.8mm in diameter. Larvae hatch in 2-3 weeks at 22ºC to 24ºC. Larvae are well developed at hatching and are capable of feeding immediately. Often observed in aggregations of tens to hundreds of individuals.

Fisheries

A popular aquarium fish, and bred in captivity.

Conservation

IUCN: Least Concern

Remarks

Pseudomugil signifier exhibits a wide range of morphological forms with at least 15 geographical varieties recognised. The fins of males and females also differ in shape and colour, particularly during breeding. The dorsal, anal and pelvic fins of males only are extended into filaments and become more intensely coloured during breeding.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Honey Blue Eye, Pseudomugil mellis, in having larger scales on the nape, larger cephalic sensory pores, and the dorsal, anal and caudal fins of males are generally yellow with a black edge (vs. black banded fins with a white edge in P. mellis).

Etymology

The specific name signifier is from the Latin signum (= flag) in reference to the elongate dorsal and anal fins of males.

Species Citation

Pseudomugil signifer Kner 1867, Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe 53: 543. Type locality: Sydney, New South Wales.

Author

Thompson, V.J. & Bray, D.J. 2022

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Pacific Blue Eye, Pseudomugil signifer Kner 1867

References


Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications pp. 1–240

Allen, G.R. & Cross, N.J. 1982. Rainbowfishes of Australia and Papua-New Guinea. New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 142 pp.

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp.

Butler, G. & Brooks, S. 2019. Pseudomugil signifer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T123358376A123382746. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T123358376A123382746.en. Accessed on 14 July 2022.

Cashner, R.C., Hawkes, G.P., Gartside, D.F. & Marsh-Matthews E. 1999. Fishes of the Nymboida, Mann and Orara Rivers of the Clarence River Drainage, New South Wales, Australia. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 121: 89-100 

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

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

Günther, A. 1867. Additions to the knowledge of Australian reptiles and fishes. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 3 20(8): 45-68 

Hadfield, A.J., Ivantsoff, V. & Johnston, P.G. 1979. Clinal variation in electrophoretic and morphological characters between two nominal species of the genus Pseudomugil (Pisces: Atheriniformes: Pseudomugilidae). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 30: 375-386 figs 1-4

Hitchcock, G., Finn, M.A., Burrows, D.W., & Johnson, J.W. 2012. Fishes from fresh and brackish waters of islands in Torres Strait, far north Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 56(1): 14-24 

Howe, E. 1987. Breeding behaviour, egg surface morphology and embryonic development in four Australian species of the genus Pseudomugil (Pisces : Melanotaeniidae). Marine and Freshwater Research 38(6): 885-895 

Ivantsoff, W. 1999. Pseudomugilidae. pp. 2109-2112 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790. 

Johnson, J. 1993. Fishes of the Brisbane River. Fishes of Sahul, Journal of the Australian New Guinea Fishes Association 8(1): 347-352 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kner, R. 1866. Specielles Verzeichniss der Während der Reise der Kaiserlichen Fregatte "Novara" gesammelten Fische. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 53(1): 543-550 See ref at BHL

Lake, J.S. 1978. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Melbourne : Thomas Nelson 160 pp. 140 figs.

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

Macleay, W.J. 1884. Notices of new fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(1): 170-172 (described as Atherinosoma jamesonii, type locality BremerRiver near Brisbane, Queensland)

Martin, K.C. & Barclay, S. 2013. New distribution records for the Cairns rainbowfish Cairnsichthys rhombosomoides (Melanotaeniidae): implications for conservation of a restricted northern population. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 19(3): 155-164 

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.

McGlashan, D.J. & Hughes, J.M. 2002. Extensive genetic divergence among populations of the Australian freshwater fish, Pseudomugil signifer (Pseudomugilidae), at different hierarchical scales. Marine and Freshwater Research 53: 897-907.

McGlashan, D.J., Hughes, J.M. & Bunn, S.E. 2001. Within-drainage population genetic structure of the freshwater fish Pseudomugil signifer (Pseudomugilidae) in northern Australia. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 58: 1842-1852.

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

Pusey, B.J., Arthington, A.H. & Read, M.G. 1995. Species richness and spatial variation in fish assemblage structure in two rivers of the wet tropics of northern Queensland, Australia. Environmental Biology of Fishes 42(2): 181-199.

Pusey, B.J., Burrows, D.W., Kennard, M.J., Perna, C.N., Unmack, P.J., Allsop, Q. & Hammer, M.P. 2017. Freshwater fishes of northern Australia. Zootaxa 4253(1): 1-104. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4253.1.1

Pusey, B.J., Kennard, M.J. & Arthington, A.H. 2004. Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia. Collingwood, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 684 pp. 

Pusey, B.J., Kennard, M.J. & Bird, J. 2000. Fishes of the dune fields of Cape Flattery, northern Queensland and other dune systems in north-eastern Australia. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 11(1): 65-74.

Pusey, B.J., Read, M.G. & Arthington, A.H. 1995. The feeding ecology of freshwater fishes in two rivers of the Australian wet tropics. Environmental Biology of Fishes 43(1): 85-103.

Saeed, B., Ivantsoff, W. & Allen, G.R. 1989. Taxonomic revision of the family Pseudomugilidae (Order Atheriniformes). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 40: 719-787 

Semple, G.P. 1986. Pseudomugil signifer - maintenance, reproduction and early development of the Pacific blue-eye. Fishes of Sahul 3(3): 121-125.

Whitley, G.P. 1935. Studies in Ichthyology No. 9. Records of the Australian Museum 19(4): 215-250 figs 1-11 pl. 18 

Whitley, G.P. 1960. Fresh water fishes of Australia. 17. Finchat March: 4-8, 11 

Wong, B.B.M., Keogh, J.S. & Jennions, M.D. 2004. Mate recognition in a freshwater fish: geographical distance, genetic differentiation, and variation in female preference for local over foreign males. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17(3): 701-708.

Wong, B.B.M., Keogh, J.S. & Glashan, D.J.M. 2004. Current and historical patterns of drainage connectivity in eastern Australia inferred from population genetic structuring in a widespread freshwater fish Pseudomugil signifier (Pseudomugilidae). Molecular Ecology 13: 391–401

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37245020

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Freshwater to marine

Max Size:7 cm SL

Native:Endemic

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map