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Aquatic Galaxias maculatus (Common Galaxias)


Never Alone In The Bush
Staff member
Jun 16, 2011
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Melbourne, Victoria
Scientific Name: Galaxias maculatus

Common Name: Common Galaxias

Order: Osmeriformes

Family: Galaxiidae

Other Names: Galaxia, Inanga

Distribution: Australia: typically coastal streams from Southern Qld through NSW, Vic and SA. Tasmania and SW WA.
Also: New Zealand, Patagonian South America, Falkland Islands and some Pacific Islands including New Caledonia.
(Sounds to me like they are a Gondwana remnant species ?)

They typically inhabit coastal streams, but there are also land locked populations.
The coastal populations use the brackish water to spawn and allow the juveniles to spend time at sea before returning to the river/creek as adults.
The land locked populations use a variety of methods for breeding including laying eggs in seasonal creek beds (which dry up), or along the edge of lakes or dams which dry out
There is a fascinating description here (no affiliation) : http://www.fishingmonthly.net.au/Articles/Display/5878-Bait-Biology--the-common-galaxias
They feed on larvae and small insects

Identifying Feature:
Galaxias have an elongated body and typically grow to no more than 10cm, although some can grow up to 19cm
Females are typically larger than males

Field Notes:

These Galaxias were observed in a small dam with no connection to a stream, river, lake or the sea; they are totally land locked. I did wonder how they got there.
I observed them swarming along the shallow edge of the dam and they were wriggling and squirming around the small rocks at the very edge of the water, I was wondering what they were up to and now I read that they were probably spawning; seeking to lay eggs under the rocks to protect them as the dam dries out. When it refills after summer, the eggs will hatch.

They are typically caught as whitebait in estuaries for human consumption

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big pete

Les Stroud
Aug 17, 2012
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I used to catch them in the Inman river, we used to get quite big ones .