Animal Species:Empire Gudgeon, Hypseleotris compressa (Krefft, 1864)

The Empire Gudgeon is a small freshwater species.  Males are vibrantly coloured during the breeding season.

Empire Gudgeon, Hypseleotris compressa

Empire Gudgeon, Hypseleotris compressa
Photographer: Robert McCormack © Robert McCormack

Standard Common Name

Empire Gudgeon

Alternative Name/s

Carp Gudgeon, Empire Fish, Northern Carp-gudgeon

Identification

Females are brown to golden and whitish below.  In the breeding season males become bright orange-rea on the head and belly.  The dorsal and anal fins become bright red-orange basally and with a dark sub-marginal stripe and lighter margins.

Size range

The species grows to about 12 cm in length.

Distribution

The species is known from Australia and Papua New Guinea.  In Australia it occurs primarily in in the lower reaches of coastal drainages from central Western Australia, around the tropical north, and south on the east coast to southern New South Wales. Normally found in still or flowing waters with juveniles occurring in fast flowing water and often schooling in estuaries. Tolerant of salinity levels equal to sea water and temperatures up to 35°C.

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.

Hypseleotris compressa

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Empire Gudgeon specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

Normally found in the lower reaches of coastal rivers and streams in still or flowing waters with juveniles occurring in fast flowing water and often schooling in estuaries. Tolerant of salinity levels equal to sea water.

Feeding and Diet

Diet includes a range of aquatic invertebrates such as cladocerans and insect larvae but also grazes on algae and detritus.

Mating and reproduction

Normally spawns in the warmer months with eggs being laid on rock, weed or sand and guarded by the male.

Classification

Species:
compressa
Genus:
Hypseleotris
Family:
Eleotridae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Animalia

What does this mean?

Further Reading

  1. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  2. 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.
  3. McDowall, R.M. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Empire Gudgeon, Hypseleotris compressa, Eleotridae, pinkish-white, brown, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, blotches, rocky reef, freshwater, dark blotches on top,