Sinuous Gudgeon, Odonteleotris macrodon (Bleeker 1853)

Other Names: Gangetic Sleeper, Smooth-scaled Gudgeon

A Sinuous Gudgeon, Odonteleotris macrodon, from a drain in Ludmilla, Darwin, Northern Territory during the wet season, January 2001 (length 30cm). Source: Dave Wilson / Aquagreen. License: All rights reserved

A mottled greyish to greyish-brown or blackish-green gudgeon with a pale belly, 2-4 dark black stripes radiating from the eye across the cheek, dorsal and caudal fin-rays spotted with a violet membrane, a red margin on the anal fin, the anterior margin of the pelvic fin red, and a reddish spot on the upper part of the caudal-fin base. Juveniles are a paler brownish with distinct black lines radiating from the eye, and a conspicuous black spot on the upper part of the caudal-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2020, Odonteleotris macrodon in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Nov 2022,

Sinuous Gudgeon, Odonteleotris macrodon (Bleeker 1853)

More Info


Known from the Kimberley region of north Western Australia, to the Gurrumuru Flood Plains, East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical east-Indo-west Pacific. Inhabits coastal rivers, streams and brackish areas.


Dorsal fin VI; I, 9-10; Anal fin I, 8; Pectoral fin 17; Pelvic fin I, 5; Transverse scales 30.
Body elongate, anteriorly cylindrical, posteriorly compressed; depth 5 in SL. Head slightly depressed, length 3.5-3.75 in SL, dorsal profile between eyes slightly concave. Snout rounded, less than 2 eye diameters, tip before upper part of eye. Anterior nostril tubular. Eye 8 in head; interorbital 3 eye diameters. Mouth reaching to below posterior part of eye; teeth in several rows, outer row in upper jaw with 4-6 canines, inner row behind symphysis with curved canine; outer row in lower jaw with 4 canines. Four mucous canals radiating from underside of eye, crossed by 2 longitudinal canals on cheek; short canals radiating from top of eye, longitudinal canal on each side from snout to interorbital; lower side of head with many short transverse canals along ramus of lower jaw; longitudinal canal on each side of chin; interorbital with about 3 open pores on each side around eye.
Body and head, except snout, covered with cycloid scales; longitudinal series 90; predorsal scales 60.
First dorsal fin low, height less than half body height, third and fourth rays longest; second dorsal and anal fin higher than body, pointed posteriorly. Pectoral fin as long as postorbital part of head. Ventral fin slightly shorter. Caudal fin obtuse.


To around 13 cm SL


Blackish green above, pink below; 2-4 black stripes on cheek radiating from eye. Rays of dorsal and caudal fins spotted, membrane violet; anal fin with red margin; red spot dorsally on caudal fin base. Anterior margin of pelvic fin red.


Likely to feed on small insects, crustaceans and small fishes.


Likely to be oviparous, benthic spawners.


The specific name macrodon is from the Greek makros (= great, large) and odon (= tooth) in reference to the large canine teeth on the upper and lower jaws.  

Species Citation

Eleotris macrodon Bleeker, 1853, Verh. Bat. Gen. 25: 104, pl. 2(1). Type locality: Hooghly River at Calcutta, India.


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


Atlas of Living Australia

Sinuous Gudgeon, Odonteleotris macrodon (Bleeker 1853)


Allen, G.R. & Leggett, R. 1990. A collection of freshwater fishes from the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 14(4): 527-545 fig. 1

Bleeker, P. (1853). Nalezingen op de ichthyologische fauna van Bengalen en Hindostan. Verh. Bat. Gen. 25: 1–164 pls 1–6 See ref at BHL

Kottelat, M., Whitten, A.J., Kartikasar, S.N. & Wirjoatmodjo, S. 1993. Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Hong Kong : Periplus Editions 259 pp.

Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 2001. Eleotridae, Gobiidae. pp. 3574-3604 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. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. (as Oxyeleotris sp.) 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37429035

Habitat:Freshwater rivers, streams, estuaries

Max Size:30 cmSL; 40 cmTL

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CAAB distribution map