Golden Carp Gudgeon, Hypseleotris aurea (Shipway 1950)

Other Names: Golden Gudgeon

Golden Carp Gudgeon, Hypseleotris aurea. Source: Mark Allen. License: All rights reserved

A small brownish to golden-brown gudgeon, paler below, with a network pattern formed by dusky scale margins and sometimes 6-9 indistinct bars along the sides; dorsal and anal fins with a blue margin, and a black spot above the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2022, Hypseleotris aurea in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Golden Carp Gudgeon, Hypseleotris aurea (Shipway 1950)

More Info


Known only in Western Australia from the Murchison River to the Gasgoyne River; inhabits small, quiet freshwater pools with moderately turbid water and boulder substratum littered with dead tree branches.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin VI; I, 10; Anal fin I, 11; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 15; Pectoral fin 14-16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Transverse scales 10-13; Vertebrae 26; Gill rakers 2-3 + 1 + 8-9 = 11-13.
Head and body distinctly compressed; body relatively deep, depth 4.3-5.0 in SL. Adult males with prominent forehead hump from above upper end of opercular margin to snout. Mouth small, very oblique, reaching to or not quite to middle of eye; both jaws with small teeth in several rows; tongue tip truncate. Gill opening moderately broad, reaching forward to below posterior end of preoperculum. Head pores absent, sometimes with up to 5 preopercular pores and sometimes two pores above each eye. Cheek sensory papillae normally in longitudinal rows, with few vertical rows
Body scales large and ctenoid, lateral line absent; longitudinal series 34-43; scales often cycloid on belly and nape; predorsal scales forward to above middle of eye, 16-21; scales in transverse series 10-13; cheek with 4 rows of small embedded cycloid scales’ operculum covered with medium-sized cycloid scales.
Two dorsal fins; posterior dorsal and anal rays not prolonged in males. Pelvic fins separate, short, reaching half to two-thirds of distance to anus. Pectoral base narrow, rays developed ventrally; free fold of skin extending to upper attachment of opercular membrane above uppermost ray.


To around 6cm SL.


Body with 6-9 vertical brown bands, width about equal to eye diameter; bands more pronounced anteriorly and dorsally, often fading on caudal peduncle; snout and head above eye dark brown in adult males; black bar at pectoral base, entirely above pectoral rays. Second dorsal fin with 2-3 rows of small dark spots on basal half of fin, surrounding white to clear spots; distal tip of fin dusky, sometimes whole fin dusky; extreme tip of anal usually white; small dusky spot at base of caudal rays below midside.


Feed mainly on aquatic invertebrates.


Oviparous benthic spawners.

Similar Species

Closely related to H. regalis of the Prince Regent Reserve, West Kimberley. It differs from this species by possessing an additional vertebra (26 versus 25) and smaller scales.

Species Citation

Eleotris aurea Shipway, B. (1950). Notes on the aquatic natural history of the lower Murchison River. West. Aust. Nat. 2(4): 73–77 figs 1–2 [75, figs 1–2].

Murchison River, WA.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2022

Golden Carp Gudgeon, Hypseleotris aurea (Shipway 1950)


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

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia.  Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp.

Shipway, B. (1950). Notes on the aquatic natural history of the lower Murchison River. West. Aust. Nat. 2(4): 73–77 figs 1–2

Thacker, C.E., Shelley, J.J., McCraney, W.T. et al. 2022. Phylogeny, diversification, and biogeography of a hemiclonal hybrid system of native Australian freshwater fishes (Gobiiformes: Gobioidei: Eleotridae: Hypseleotris). BMC Ecology and Evolution 22.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37429022

Habitat:Quiet freshwater pools

Max Size:6 cm SL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map