Stocky Galaxias, Galaxias tantangara Raadik 2014

Other Names: Stocky Mountain Galaxias

Stocky Galaxias, Galaxias tantangara. Source: Tarmo A. Raadik / Arthur Rylah Institute. License: All rights reserved

A stocky, deep-bodied olive-brown galaxias becoming pale below, with extensive grey mottling on the head (including on the snout, cheeks and underside of head), back, sides and caudal peduncle, a golden iris and translucent dusky-grey fins.
The Stocky Galaxias has a long-based anal fin, short nostrils and the upper jaw slightly overhangs the lower jaw.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Galaxias tantangara in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Mar 2023,

Stocky Galaxias, Galaxias tantangara Raadik 2014

More Info


Restricted to the headwaters of Tantangara Creek, upstream of Tantangara Reservoir, and Sallys Flat Creek, a tributary of the larger Peppercorn Creek, a tributary of the Goodradigbee River which drains northward into Lake Burrinjuck, in the very upper part of the Murrumbidgee River system, Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales. The species only occurs in two small sections of stream inaccessible to alien trout. 
The habitat is a small, cold, clear and fast-flowing alpine creek, flowing through an open forest of eucalypts, low shrubs and tussock grass. The stream substrate is bedrock, boulder, and cobble, with smaller amounts of pebble and gravel, and is often snow-covered during winter months.
The Stocky Galaxias is thought to have historically been more widespread in Tantangara Creek, downstream to the junction with the Murrumbidgee River.


Dorsal fin 9-11; Pectoral fin 13-14; Gill rakers (first arch) 10-11.
Differs from other species within the Galaxias olidus complex in having the following combination of characters: low mean total gill raker count of 10; body distinctly stocky and deep through vent and pectoral fin base (14.1 and 16.6 % SL); caudal peduncle deep (9.0 % SL); head obtuse to slightly bulbous in lateral profile, moderately deep (44.7 % HL) but wide (68.3 % HL); gape wide (44.7 % HL and 65.4 % HW); eye profiles usually not visible laterally from ventral view; nostrils short, not visible from ventral view; caudal fin weakly emarginate to truncate, about as long or slightly longer than caudal peduncle, vertical width of expanded rays usually equal to body depth through pectoral fin base; caudal peduncle flanges long, reaching more than half distance to anal fin base; anal fin long (16.3 % SL); most posterior extent of mouth 0.8 ED below ventral margin of eye; dorsal midline usually flattened anteriorly from above or slightly posterior to pectoral fin bases; raised lamellae absent from ventral surface of rays of paired fins; anal fin origin usually under 0.73 distance posteriorly along dorsal fin base; usually 2, occasionally 1, relatively thin and long (4.7 % SL) pyloric caecae; gill rakers short to very short; and, lack of distinct black bars along lateral line. 


Body predominantly dark olive-brown on back and upper sides above lateral line, extending onto top and sides of head and snout, and lateral sides of trunk posterior to anal fin, becoming lighter brown to cream ventrally. Profusely overlain by dark brown to almost black spots and flecks coalescing into small or moderately large, irregular shaped, blotches, particularly widespread on head, extending to snout, under lower jaw, and to near the latero-ventral margin of the gill covers. Gill cover translucent, dusky grey-brown; pupil black, iris, golden; fins translucent dusky grey.


NSW: Critically Endangered. There are heavy penalties for harming, possessing, buying or selling them, or for harming their habitat.
The Stocky Galaxias is threatened by habitat degradation due to the presence of brumbies causing increased sedimentation in the area. The species is also potentially threatened by the effects of climate change and the loss of riparian vegetation. Stocky Galaxias is threatened by the potential movement of Alien Brown Trout, Salmo trutta, and Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, which occur immediately below the small waterfall barriers in Tantangara Creek and Sallys Flat Creek.
The proposed Snowy 2.0 Project in the Kosciuszko National Park involves connecting the Tantangara and Talbingo reservoirs via a tunnel - thus connecting the associated rivers and creeks. This will potentially transfer Climbing Galaxias, Galaxias brevipinnis, (introduced into Talbingo Reservoir during construction of the original Snowy River project) into Tantangara Reservoir. Climbing Galaxias will then presumably them move upwards into Tantangara Creek and Sallys Flat Creek, where they will compete with and prey on Stocky Galaxias – potentially pushing the species to extinction.

Similar Species

Among other characters, Stocky Galaxias differ from Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus, in lacking bars along the side, and having a grey mottled pattern extending onto the head, cheeks and snout.


The specific name tantangara is taken from the small alpine stream, a tributary of the upper Murrumbidgee River draining from Mount Tantangara, from which the type specimens were collected. 

Species Citation

Galaxias tantangara Raadik 2014, Zootaxa 3898(1): 142, fig. 35. Type locality: Tantangara Creek, tributary, above falls 200 m. upstream of ford on Alpine Creek Fire Trail, Kosciuszko National Park, upstream of Tantangara Reservoir, New South Wales, 35 50'23"S, 148°34'04"E.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Stocky Galaxias, Galaxias tantangara 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 ‘TA’) 

Allan, H., Duncan, R.P., Unmack, P., White, D. & Lintermans, M. 2020. Reproductive ecology of a critically endangered alpine galaxiid. Journal of Fish Biology 98(3): 622-633

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

Lintermans, M. & Allan, H. 2019. Galaxias tantangara . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T122903246A123382161. Downloaded on 06 February 2020.

Lintermans, M., Geyle, H.M., Beatty, S., Brown, C., Ebner, B., Freeman, R., Hammer, M.P., Humphreys, W.F., Kennard, M.J., Kern, P., Martin, K., Morgan, D., Raadik, T.A., Unmack, P.J., Wager, R., Woinarski, J.C.Z. & Garnett, S.T. 2020. Big trouble for little fish: Identifying Australian freshwater fishes in imminent risk of extinction. Pacific Conservation Biology. 

Lintermans, M., Raadik, T.A. & Unmack, P.J 2021. Taking stock of Stocky’s: The discovery of a second population of the threatened Galaxias tantangara in the upper Murrumbidgee catchment. Fishes of Sahul 35(4): 1812-1826

Raadik, T.A. 2011. Systematic revision of the Mountain Galaxias, Galaxias olidus Günther, 1866 species complex (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) in eastern Australia. Ph.D thesis, University of Canberra. pp. i-xxiii, 1-493

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

Threatened Species Unit (2018) Stocky Galaxias – Galaxias tantangara  Primefact 1443, Third edition

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37102035

Conservation:ASFB & NSW Critically Endangered

Conservation:IUCN Critically Endangered


Max Size:9.2 cm SL


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