Dargo Galaxias, Galaxias mungadhan Raadik 2014

Dargo Galaxias, Galaxias mungadhan, from the Dargo High Plains, Victoria. Source: Tarmo A. Raadik. License: All rights reserved

A dark chocolate-brown galaxias becoming paler below, with irregular diffuse dark brown to black blotches, a silvery to coppery-gold iris, usually a broad diffuse band of golden spots along the side, a band of golden spots or flecks running from the nape to the dorsal-fin base, small golden flecks scattered on the head, and translucent yellowish-brown fins.
The Dargo Galaxias is known only from a small stream in the upper Dargo River system of the Gippsland region of Victoria.

Video of the Dargo Galaxias in the headwaters of the Dargo River System, Victoria.
Video of Dargo Galaxias filmed in the Dargo High Plains, Alpine region, Victoria.
Video of the critically endangered Dargo Galaxias filmed in the Dargo High Plains, Alpine region, Victoria.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Galaxias mungadhan in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Mar 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/5128

Dargo Galaxias, Galaxias mungadhan Raadik 2014

More Info


Headwaters of Lightbound Creek, a tributary of the Dargo River near Mt Hotham, in the Mitchell River system, Gippsland region, Victoria. This species is known only from the type locality.


Differs from all other species within the Galaxias olidus complex by a combination of the following characters: distance between pelvic and anal fin bases long (22.4–27.7 % SL); head shallow (30.0–42.6 % HL) and post-orbital head length long (54.7–62.4 % HL); inter-orbital narrow (35.1–40.4 % HL); nostrils of moderate length, not visible from ventral view; dorsal and anal fin origins set far back along trunk (70.5–74.5 and 74.4–79.9 % SL, respectively); body depth through pectoral fin base greater (121.2 % SL) than that through vent; anal fin base short (9.0–10.7 % SL), usually shorter than dorsal fin base; dorsal fin short (13–15 % SL) and anal fin moderately short (13.2–15.6 % SL); lower jaw length much shorter (67.8–89.0 %) than width of gape; expanded rays of caudal fin equal to or less than body depth through pectoral fin base; dorsal midline usually flattened anteriorly from above or slightly posterior to pectoral fin bases; usually 10 segmented anal fin rays; posterior extent of mouth about 0.8 ED below ventral margin of eye; pyloric caecae either present or absent, if present, as a single, wide and blunt, short (0.7 % SL) caecum; gill rakers short and stout; anal fin origin usually under 0.61 distance posteriorly along dorsal fin base; lack of distinct black bars along lateral line; and, usually a dark chocolate brown overall when alive.


Recorded to 110 mm LCF (length to caudal fork—horizontal distance from tip of snout to caudal fin fork), commonly to 70–80 mm LCF.


Body dark brown overall, usually darker above lateral line, extending onto top and sides of head and snout, becoming brown ventrally, belly sometimes light brown. Overlain by small to moderate sized dark brown to black, irregular shaped, rather diffuse blotches, more densely spaced above lateral line. Gill cover brown; iris silvery to coppery gold. Mid-dorsal surface of trunk usually with a moderately wide band composed of gold spots or flecks extending from nape to dorsal fin base, sometimes extending over head to snout; head broadly scattered with small gold flecks, and broad, diffuse band of golden spots usually extending from near base of pectoral fin onto caudal peduncle, usually mostly below lateral line and quite distinct posteriorly. Fins translucent yellowy brown (Raadik 2014)


IUCN: Critically EndangeredAustralian Society for Fish Biology (ASFB): Critically Endangered
Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988: Threatened
In 2019-2020, bushfires burnt through the catchment in which the Dargo Galaxias live. Heavy rains following extreme fire events washes debris such as ash, sediment and burnt timber into streams - smothering the fish, or making the water anoxic. After the fires, 200 individuals were captured and housed in aquaria as an insurance population against these threats. 


The specific name mungadhan, is from ‘munga’ meaning from, and ‘dhan’ meaning frost or snow, in reference to its distribution at high elevations on the Dargo High Plains which are usually covered by snow during winter. From the language of the Gunai/Kurnai indigenous nation, the traditional inhabitants of the Gippsland region of Victoria (Gardner 1996). Suggested vernacular name as the ‘Dargo Galaxias’.

Species Citation

Galaxias mungadhan Raadik 2014, Zootaxa 3898(1): 86, fig. 20. Type data: Type locality: Lightbound Creek, on Dargo High Plains Road, Lankey's Plain, Dargo High Plains, Alpine National Park, Victoria [37°06'33”S 147°09'40”E]. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Australian Faunal Directory

Dargo Galaxias, Galaxias mungadhan Raadik 2014


Adams, M., Raadik, T.A., Burridge, C.P. & Georges, A. 2014. Global biodiversity assessment and hyper-cryptic species complexes: more than one species of elephant in the room. Systematic Biology 63(4): 518–533, (as taxon ‘DA’).

Gardner, P.D. 1996. The Language of the Kurnai Tribes of Gippsland. Ngarak Press, Ensay, 116 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2013. Pictorial Guide to Victoria's Freshwater Fishes. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics 178 pp, (as Galaxias sp. 16).

Lintermans, M. 2016. Conservation Status of Australian Fishes – 2016. Australian Society for Fish Biology Newsletter 46(2): 142-144. (ASFB Threatened Fishes Committee Reports)

Raadik, T.A. 2011. Systematic revision of the Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus Günther, 1866 species complex (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) in eastern Australia. PhD Thesis, University of Canberra, (as taxon ‘dargo’).

Raadik, T.A. 2014. Fifteen from one: a revision of the Galaxias olidus Günther, 1866 complex (Teleostei, Galaxiidae) in south-eastern Australia recognises three previously described taxa and describes 12 new species. Zootaxa 3898 (1): 1-198, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3898.1.1 Abstract

Raadik, T. 2019. Galaxias mungadhan . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T122902464A123382136. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T122902464A123382136.en. Downloaded on 06 February 2020.

Raadik, T.A. & Nicol, M.D. 2012. Assessment of the post-fire status and distribution of the Dargo Galaxias (Galaxias sp. 6), affected by the White Timber Spur fire, upper Dargo River system: Black Saturday Victoria 2009 – Natural values fire recovery program. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg, Victoria, 29 pp.

Quick Facts

Conservation:ASFB Critically Endangered; VIC Threatened

Conservation:IUCN Critically Endangered


Max Size:11 cm LCF


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