Re: [RML] fish records-hypseleotris

peter.unmack at ASU.Edu
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 11:51:19 -0700 (MST)

On Wed, 29 Jan 1997, Bruce Hansen wrote:

> Perhaps Peter you would be Kind enough to do us a brief table for field
> IDing of the Hypseleotris species and with your permission we could put it
> in the various publications.

I don't really want to publish this at the moment. I am hoping to find
some time to put together an article for Fishes of Sahul on the genus in
southeastern Australia covering their taxonomy and breeding biology as I
have bred them all and it will clear up some confusion. One also has to
remember that the following is only preliminary.

Characteristics for identifying southeastern Australian hypseleotrids
except H. compressa. Peter J. Unmack

Western carp gudgeon Hypseleotris kluzingeri
Body colour: more of a greyish colour.
Male body doesn't go as dark as any of the other species.
Females have a yellowy-orange belly when in spawning condition.
Fin colour: anal and dorsal fins are blood red with a thin bright white
line on the outer edge of the fish, tail is blood red.
Head bluntness: males are the least blunt headed of the five species.
Size: rarely reaches 5-6 cm.
Distribution: Cooper Ck., Bulloo R., Murray-Darling Basin, coastal
drainages from the Hunter R. (NSW) north to and including the Fitzroy
drainage (Qld). Coastal populations may be subspecifically different to
inland ones, stockier, blunter/deeper head, and more prominant body
markings.

Midgley's carp Gudgeon (what I refer to as Hypseleotris sp 1)
Body colour: generally more browny-tan coloured.
Body in males often goes very dark.
Females have a bright orange belly when in spawning condition
Fin colour: much more variable in degree of colour shown, anal and
dorsals, base third is clear to faint red, mid third consists of a dark
band, outer band is usually white often with a tinge of orange,
sometimes may be blue although I have never seen them in this colour
although there are photos of them. Caudal fin is clear.
Head bluntness: males have a very blunt head.
Size: no greater than 4 cm.
Distribution: Cooper Ck., Bulloo R., Murray-Darling Basin, coastal
drainages from at least the Brisbane R. north to around Cairns, southern
limits are still undefined. Coastal populations may be subspecifically
different to inland ones, differs in finage--dorsal/anal size.

Lake's carp gudgeon (what I refer to as Hypseleotris sp 2)
Body: identical to Midgley's.
Males are same as Midgley's
Females belly is bright orange during spawning season going bright pink
when close to spawning.
Fin colour: anal and dorsals, base two thirds is generally darker,
bordered by a thin orange line with a thinner white line on the edge of
the fin. Caudal fin is clear.
Head bluntness: same as Midgley's.
Size: generally no greater than 4 cm.
Other distinctive features: no scales on the dorsal surface between
first dorsal fin and head.
Distribution: upper Cooper Ck. and Murray-Darling Basin. Identification
of Cooper Ck. fish is only tentative, could be the same, different, or a
subspecies.

undescribed carp gudgeon (what I refer to as Hypseleotris sp 3)
Body: colour is generally browny-tan,
males generally don't get quite as dark as Midgley's or Lake's,
(although occasionally they will).
Females belly is bright orange during spawning season going bright pink
when close to spawning.
Fin colour: Anal and dorsals, bottom third is faint orange, mid third is
dark, this is bordered by a bright orange line often with a hint of a
white thin line as well. Tail is an orangy colour.
Head Bluntness: not as blunt as Midgley's and Lake's but more so than H.
klunzingeri.
Size: commonly found to 4 cm, reaching about 6 cm.
Other distinctive features: anal and second dorsal fins are more
elongated and pointed in males than other species except H.galii.
Females can be difficult to split from Midgley's.
Distribution: Murray-Darling Basin though patchy in occurrence. May be
two subspecies, one in the Darling, one in the Murray, differ slightly
in appearance, finnage, and colouration.

Firetail gudgeon Hypseleotris galii
Body: colour is generally browny-tan,
males generally don't get quite as dark as Midgley's or Lake's,
(although occasionally they will).
Females belly is bright orange during spawning season going bright pink
when close to spawning (Hanson pers comm.)
Fin colour: Anal and dorsals, bottom third is faint red, mid third is
dark, this is bordered by a bright red line. Tail is red.
Head Bluntness: not as blunt as Midgley's and Lake's but more so than H.
klunzingeri.
Size: commonly found at 4 cm, reaching about 6 cm.
Other distinctive features: anal and second dorsal fins are more
elongated and pointed in males sometimes reaching beyond origin of the
caudal fin.
Females can be seperated from all other Hypseleotris spp as they have a
black urogential papilla (looks like a black spot just by their anus).
Distribution: Coastal drainages from supposedly around Eden (NSW) (never
seen specimens though) but definitely from Sydney north to at least Gin
Gin Ck. (Qld)

Pictures for reference
Lake, 1978. Aust FW fish, one pic of Midgley's (incorrectly called H.
klunz)
McDowell, 1981. FW fish of SE Aust, one pic of Midgley's (incorrectly
called H. klunz)
Cad and Back, 1983. FW fish of Vic, one bad pic of H. sp 3 (incorrectly
called H. klunz)
Merrick and Schmida 1984. Aust FW fish, pic of H. sp 3 (bad pic)
(incorrectly called H. klunz), pic of Midgley's and Lake's are correct,
bottom pic of H. galii is actually Midgley's.
Allen 1989 FW fish of Aust. plate 44, bottom left, Midgley's
(incorrectly called H. galii), bottom right is correctly called Lake's,
plate 47 top left is Midgley's (incorrectly called sp b which = Lake's),
plate 57, top two are correctly called H. klunzingeri (poor pics though).

RELATIONSHIPS OF SOUTH EASTERN HYPSELEOTRIIDS P UNMACK 1997.

|--------------------------Lake's
|-----------|---------|
| | |--------------------------Midgley's
| |?
| | |------------------H. galii
|? |-----------------|
| |------------------Species 3
|
|------------------------------------------------H. compressa
|
|------------------------------------------------H. klunzingeri

Each pair is more closely related together than either is to any other,
don't ask me why! I do have my reasons, but they are hard to explain and
are far from being concrete.

The length of the line relates to the degree of relatedness both within
and between each pair (only relative not absolute)

Tootles

Peter Unmack