Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    salamandroides
    Genus
    Lepidogalaxias
    Family
    Lepidogalaxiidae
    Order
    Salmoniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to about 7 cm in length. Males are smaller than females.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.

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

Ozcam map of Salamanderfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=lepidogalaxias%20salamandroides&zoom=off#mapView

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.

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.