Zoogeography of Australian fish species

Australia has a remarkably rich fish fauna with many endemic species. The tables below provide some statistics.

Eureka Prize: The Leafy Sea Dragon

Caelum Mero © Caelum Mero

The first table shows the numbers of Australian native species by broad habitat categories. The lower table gives information on endemism in tropical, subtropical and temperate environments.

  Tropical    Temperate

Tropical /
temperate

Subtropical Total   
Marine 3029 1222 267 123 4107
Estuarine 332 123 24 12 443
Freshwater 174 83 6 7 258
Total native species 3278 1308 274 137 4449

 

  Tropical   Temperate Tropical / temperate Subtropical Total   
Number of endemic species 448 612 47 63 1078
Percent of endemic species to  category 14% 47% 17% 46% 24%
Total native species 3278 1308 274 137

4449
(* See below for updated figure.)

Reference:

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.

* The latest figure (8 November 2011) for the total number of species in Australian waters is 4,482.  View more details on the Australian Faunal Directory Pisces page.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, zogeograhy, zoogeograhpy, Australian species, number,