Firetail Gudgeon, Hypseleotris galii Click to enlarge image
An immature Firetail Gudgeon caught in Manly Dam, Sydney, New South Wales. The fish was in a group of 20-25 individuals schooling at the base of a small cascade at the far end of the dam. They were quite small, all around 20-30 mm. Image: Greg Wallis
© Greg Wallis

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    galii
    Genus
    Hypseleotris
    Family
    Eleotridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Female Firetail Gudgeons grow to 4 cm in length and males grow to 5.5 cm.

Introduction

The Firetail Gudgeon is a small native Australian fish that occurs in freshwater coastal streams. During the breeding season the fins of males become bright red-orange.



Identification

The Firetail Gudgeon has a compressed body, two dorsal fins and a small, oblique mouth that reaches to below the front of the eye.

The colouration of the species varies with age, habitat and season. The body is generally grey to bronze with black scale margins. During the breeding season males can be almost black, with intense red-orange fins. There is often a black bar above the pectoral fins base and a faint stripe along the side of the body.

Female Firetail Gudgeons can be easily distinguished from other species of Hypseleotris by the black area around the vent. This area is usually brown in males.

Habitat

The species lives in freshwater coastal streams.

Distribution

The Firetail Gudgeon is endemic to Australia. It is found from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales.

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.



Feeding and diet

The species feeds on aquatic invertebrates.

Breeding behaviours

The species changes colours during the breeding season (see Identification).

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
  2. Larson, H.K. & D.F. Hoese. 1996 in McDowall, R.M. (Ed) Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
  3. Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.