Aquatic Galaxias olidus (Mountain Galaxia)


Staff member
Jun 5, 2011
Reaction score
Picton NSW
Scientific Name: Galaxias olidus

Common Name: Mountain Galaxia

Other Names: n/a

Order: Osmeriformes

Family: Galaxiidae

Distribution: Southern Queensland around the east coast to South Australia

Habitat: Highland streams, creeks rivers and lakes

Identifying Features: Small fish, 40-120mm, cross section of body is circular.

Field Notes: These fish were originally designated as a single species, Galaxias olidus, despite:
occupying a very wide geographic range, occupying a range of different habitats, from headwater rivulets at 1,800 metres on the flank of Australia's highest mountain (Mount Kosciuszko) to large "midland" rivers and streams (or in other words rivers and streams at the upland/lowland transition, which may be extensive in Australia), displaying a wide range of body forms and colouration.
Ongoing research is now revealing they are a species complex. In recognition of this, the mountain galaxias species complex has been referred to as Galaxias spp., although the designation Galaxias olidus will probably remain with one of the species in the complex. The mountain galaxias species complex also incorporates the barred galaxias (Galaxias fuscus) whose status as a distinct species was debated but is now confirmed. (source wikipedia)

Fishing: introduced trout have caused countless local extinctions of this fish, and they are now restricted to creeks and rivers where trout can not survive. So help a Galaxia, catch a trout.

I photographed the following in canyons in the Blue mountains.


Eugenio Coscarelli

Les Stroud
Apr 4, 2012
Reaction score
Limestone Coast, South Australia
usually in clear pools of small, flowing streams around rocks or logs; also inhabits small upland tarns [a small mountain lake] where it may be found shoaling in open water; it has been collected from a tarn surrounded by deep snow.

The life cycle [maximum life span of about four years] is restricted to freshwater. Breeds in spring [sometimes extending to autumn]; adults move upstream into shallow riffle areas to lay their demersal adhesive eggs over rocky bottoms.

Source: Field guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia [page 103] by GR Allen et al