Animal Species:Common Galaxias, Galaxias maculatus (Jenyns, 1842)

The Common Galaxias is usually found in still or slow-flowing waters like streams rivers and lakes. They feed on aquatic and terrestial insects and crustaceans.

Standard Common Name

Common Galaxias

Alternative Name/s

Common Jollytail, Eel Gudgeon, Jollytail, Lananga, Minnow, Native Trout, Pulangi, Slippery Tarki, Spotted Minnow, Whitebait


The Common Galaxias can be recognised by a combination of characters that include an elongate body, dorsal and anal fins located opposite each other at the posterior of the body and a forked tail. Its colouration ranges from green to amber, with a variable covering of spots and blotches.

Size range

The species grows to 19 cm but is more common to about 10 cm in length.


The Common Galaxias is very widespread. It is found in Australia, New Zealand, Patagonian South America and the Falkland Islands.

In Australia it is known from coastal streams in southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, eastern South Australia, and from parts of southern Western Australia.

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.

Galaxias maculatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Common Galaxias specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?


Adults live in low-elevation streams.

Feeding and Diet

They feed on aquatic and terrestial insects and crustaceans.

Life cycle

They migrate downstream to spawn during new or full moons, mostly in Autumn. Thousands of small eggs are laid in vegetation on the margins of estuaries at spring tides, and often spend up to two weeks out of water until the next spring tide. The larvae leave the estuary and spend 5 to 6 months at sea as juveniles before returning to freshwater.



What does this mean?


  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. 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.
  4. McDowall, R.M & W. Fulton in McDowall, R.M. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
  5. McDowall, R.M & R.S. Frankenburg. 1981. The Galaxiid Fishes of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum. 33(10): 443-605.
  6. 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 fish, ichthyology, Common Jollytail, Galaxias maculatus, Galaxiidae, whitebait, slow-flowing water, streams, rivers, lakes, Eel Gudgeon, Lananga, Jollytail, Minnow, Native Trout, Pulangi, Slippery Tarki, Spotted Minnow, Whitebait, elongated body, elongate body, green, amber, dots/spots, blotches/mottled, 10 cm - 30 cm, coastal streams,