Jungle Perch, Kuhlia rupestris (Lacépède 1802)


Other Names: Buffalo Bream, Mountain Trout, Rock Flagtail

Jungle Perch, Kuhlia rupestris, at Guam, Mariana Islands. Source: David Burdick / http://guamreeflife.com. License: All rights reserved

Summary:

An olive-brown flagtail with a silvery belly, brownish speckles on the body, and conspicuous black spots or blotches on the tail lobes. Although Jungle Perch mostly inhabit flowing freshwater rainforest creeks and streams, they breed in estuaries and nearshore coastal waters.

Jungle Perch in Eli Creek, Fraser Island, Queensland, May 2016.

Jungle Perch at Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland

School of Jungle Perch at Eli Creek, Fraser Island, Queensland, June 2012.

Jungle Perch in an aquarium

Fishing for Jungle perch


Cite this page as:
Gomon M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2020, Kuhlia rupestris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 10 Dec 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4456

Jungle Perch, Kuhlia rupestris (Lacépède 1802)

More Info


Distribution

Occurs from the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York, to Tallebudgera Creek, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific, from the western Indian Ocean, north to Japan (Ryukyu Islands), south to Queensland, Australia and east to the Federated States of Micronesia (the Caroline Islands), Fiji and Samoa.

Inhabits fast flowing freshwater streams and rivers, usually in rainforest areas but also in estuaries and inshore coastal waters; known to an altitude of 240 m. The species is locally abundant in parts of its range.

Features

Dorsal fin X, 10-11; Anal fin III, 10-11; Pectoral fin 13-14; pelvic fin I, 5 ; Lateral line 41-44; Gill rakers 7-9 + 17-19; Branchiostegal rays 6; Vertebrae 25.
Body moderately deep, depth 2.6-3.0  in SL; compressed. Head moderately pointed, length 3.0-3.6 in SL. Orbit diameter 2.75–3.3 in head length. Mouth protractile, oblique with lower jaw projecting, and moderately large, maxilla extending to below posterior half of eye; supramaxilla absent; teeth villiform in jaws, on vomer, palatines, entopterygoids, and ectopterygoids; gill rakers long and slender; gill membranes not joined across isthmus. Opercle with two spines; rounded corner and lower edge of preopercle finely serrate. Edge of preorbital more coarsely serrate, preorbital serrae 10-15, a few fine serrae sometimes on suborbital.
Scales ctenoid, present on cheek and opercle, none on inter-orbital, snout, or maxilla. Lateral line complete. Dorsal and anal fins with a basal scaly sheath; no scaly pelvic axillary process.
Dorsal fin deeply notched. Caudal fin emarginate, the lobes somewhat rounded, the caudal concavity 5.3-8.7 in head length.

Size

To 45 cm TL and 2.7 kg; commonly to 25 cm.

Colour

Silvery; scales dorsally with black edges, those on side with a black bar or spot. Juveniles with a broad black zone, edged above and below in white, in soft portion of dorsal fin, and each lobe of caudal fin with large, white-edged black spot; black areas in these fins enlarge with growth until in adults most of these fins black, with upper and lower edges and corners of caudal whitish.

Feeding

Omnivore - feeds on aquatic and terrestrial insects, crustaceans, small fishes, and fruits (such as figs) that fall from overhead trees.

Biology

Catadromous. Primarily a freshwater species, with adults migrating downstream to spawn in estuaries or nearshore marine waters, from November to April. Egg diameter about 0.75 mm.

Conservation

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Least Concern
Jungle perch are diadromous, and migrate to coastal waters to breed. Weirs and barrages in waterways south of Mackay, QLD, have had impacts on their populations as they unable to move over these structures. This has led to a severe reduction in numbers and local extinctions. Very few jungle perch have been captured passing through recently modified fishways on the Pioneer and Burnett systems.

Etymology

The specific name is from the Latin rupestris (living among rocks, rock-dwelling), presumably in reference to the freshwater habitat of this species.

Species Citation

Centropomus rupestris Lacépède, 1802, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 4: 252, 273. Type locality: Gol Ravine, Réunion.

Author

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

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Jungle Perch, Kuhlia rupestris (Lacépède 1802)

References


Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. 240 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1991. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea.

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

Feutry, P., Castelin, M., Ovenden, J.R., Dettai, A.T., Robinet, T., Cruaud, C. & Keith, P. 2012. Eevolution of diadromy in fish: insights from a tropical genus (Kuhlia spp.). Am. Nat. 181(1): 52-63. https://doi.org/10.1086/66859

Feutry, P., Tabouret, H., Maeda, K., Pecheyran, C. & Keith, P. 2012. Diadromous life cycle and behavioural plasticity in freshwater and estuarine Kuhliidae species (Teleostei) revealed by otolith microchemistry. Aquatic Biology 15: 195–204. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00423

Feutry, P., Valade, P., Ovenden, J.R., Lopez, P.J. & Keith, P. (2012). Pelagic larval duration of two diadromous species of Kuhliidae (Teleostei: Percoidei) from Indo-Pacific insular systems. Marine and Freshwater Research 63: 397–402. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF11243

Feutry, P., Vergnes, A., Broderick, D., Lambourdière, J., Keith, P. & Ovenden, J.R. 2012. Stretched to the limit. Can a short pelagic larval duration connect adult populations of an Indo-Pacific diadromous fish (Kuhlia rupestris)? Molecular Ecology 22(6): 1518-1530. https://doi.org/10.1111 / mec.1219

Gelineau, Y., Saget, M., Brault, V., Anamparela, B., Aboulker, C., Martinet, J., Maeda, K. & Feutry, P. 2020. Biology of jungle perch, Kuhlia rupestris, identification of threats and knowledge gaps to improve local and global management. Cybium 44(1): 45-55 https://doi.org/10.26028/cybium/2020-441-006

Henderson, A. 2010. Evaluation of population dynamics of jungle perch Kuhlia rupestris using nondestructive methods in a world heritage area. Honours Thesis, Department of Aquaculture, University of Tasmania. 43 pp.

Hoskin, M.L., Hutchison, M.J., Barnes, A.C., Ovenden, J.R. & Pope, L.C. (2014) Parental contribution to progeny during experimental spawning of jungle perch, Kuhlia rupestris. Marine and Freshwater Research 66(4): 375-380. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF13313

Hutchison, M, Simpson, R, Elizur, A, Willett, D & A. Collins. 2002. Restoring jungle perch Kuhlia rupestris recreational fisheries to South-east Queensland. A Pilot Study. Department of Primary Industries, Queensland. 10 pp.

Lacépède, B.G. 1802. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons.  Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 4 728 pp. 16 pls 

Larson, H.K. & Pidgeon, B. 2004. New records of freshwater fishes from East Timor. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 20: 195-198.

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

Lewis, A.D. & Hogan, A.E. 1987. The enigmatic Jungle Perch - recent research provides some answers. SPC Fisheries Newsletter 40: 22-31.

Loiselle, P.V. & Stiassny, M.L.J. 2007. Rehabilitation of the Malagasy endemic Kuhlia sauvagii Regan, 1913 (Teleostei: Perciformes), with the designation of a neotype for Centropomis rupestris Lacépéde, 1802. American Museum Novitates 3561: 1-13.

Mailautoka, K., Hoese, D., Sparks, J.S., Ebner, B. & Brooks, S. 2020. Kuhlia rupestris (amended version of 2019 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T183158A173723091. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T183158A173723091.en. Downloaded on 10 December 2020.

McDowall, R.M. 1988. Diadromy in fishes: migrations between freshwater and marine environments. Croom Helm, London.

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

Peters, M.B., Ovenden, J.R., Broderick, D., Lance, S. L., Hagen, C. & Glenn, T.C. 2009. Fifteen microsatellite loci for the jungle perch, Kuhlia rupestris. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 1467–1469. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0998.2009.02735.x

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 Explorations of Freshwater 11(1): 65-74.

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

Randall, J.E. & Randall, H.A. 2001. Review of the fishes of the genus Kuhlia (Perciformes: Kuhliidae) of the Central Pacific. Pacific Science 55(3): 227–256. https://doi.org/0.1353 / psc.2001.0024

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37323004

Biology:Migratory

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-50 m

Fishing:Commercial & sports fish

Habitat:Freshwaters to coastal marine

Max Size:45 cm TL; 2.7 kg

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map