Animal Species:Salamanderfish, Lepidogalaxias salamandroides Mees, 1961

The Salamanderfish is an elongate species with a cylindrical body and reddish eyes. It is greenish-brown above and pale below. It has dark blotches and silver speckles on the sides of the body. It grows to about 7 cm in length. Males are smaller than females.

Standard Common Name

Salamanderfish

Identification

The Salamanderfish is an elongate species with a cylindrical body and reddish eyes. It is greenish-brown above and pale below. It has dark blotches and silver speckles on the sides of the body.

The Salamanderfish is the only species in the family Lepidogalaxiidae.

Size range

It grows to about 7 cm in length. Males are smaller than females.

Distribution

It is endemic to Australia, occurring in a restricted area of Western Australia between the Albany District and Scott River.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Lepidogalaxias salamandroides

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Salamanderfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is found in pools in sandy peat flat areas. These waters are usually darkly tannin stained and often very acidic (pH 3.0-6.5). When pools start to dry up in summer, the fish constructs a small burrow in which it aestivates until heavy rains fall in winter.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Salamanderfish cannot move its eyes. Instead it has an unusually flexible neck, that allows the head to be moved independently of the body.

Classification

Species:
salamandroides
Genus:
Lepidogalaxias
Family:
Lepidogalaxiidae
Order:
Salmoniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
  2. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  3. Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Salamanderfish, Lepidogalaxias salamandroides, Galaxiidae, elongate, cylindrical body, greenish-brown, pale underside, blotches/mottled, silver speckles, < 10 cm, very acidic water, pools in sandy peat flat areas, flexible neck,