Australian Freshwater Fishes

Peter J. Unmack

This is intended to provide a comprehensive up to date list of Australian freshwater fishes. It includes: all species which are strictly freshwater, that is they never occur in estuaries or marine environments; species which primarily occur in freshwater, but also occur in tidal reaches, or occasionally in estuaries, e.g., Retropinna semoni, Pseudomugil signifier, Percalates novemaculeatus, Philypnodon, Hypseleotris compressa, Gobiomorphus, Kurtus, Cynoglossus and Soleidae; fishes which are diadromous, in which larvae or adults spend part of their life in marine and freshwater environments, e.g., some species of Galaxiidae, Retropinnidae, Latidae, Kuhliidae and several others. It excludes any species which are primarily marine or estuarine, even if they are commonly found in freshwater (see Allen et al. (2002) for the most common examples). The taxonomy of most groups of Australian fishes is still fairly poorly known in that there remains many undescribed species. Many of these have been recently discovered on the basis of recent genetic work, usually incorporating data from allozyme electrophoresis, nuclear sequences and mitochondrial sequences. In cases that seem fairly clear I have split species into their likely candidate species, represented by roman numerals, with the distribution of each form provided as well. Other cases still require further research to determine the number, and distribution of the candidata species, these are listed as multiple spp. (some number?), with some number representing the best current guess as to how many species are likely present. A few names are quoted, these represent cases where the current family or generic designation is clearly wrong, but further work is required to determine the correct names that should be used. This list includes 251 described species, 60 known undescribed species, and if uncertain ones are included the number rises to 358. Family designations, names, authorities and dates are based upon the Catalog of Fishes.

If you have any questions please feel free to email Peter Unmack at

Last update January 9, 2018.



Mordacia mordax (Richardson 1846)

Mordacia praecox Potter 1968


Geotria australis Gray 1851


Carcharhinus leucas (Valenciennes 1839)

Glyphis garricki Compagno, White & Last 2008

Glyphis glyphis (Müller & Henle 1839)


Pristis pristis (Linnaeus 1758)


Urogymnus dalyensis (Last & Manjaji-Matsumoto 2008)


Neoceratodus forsteri (Krefft 1870)


Scleropages jardinii (Saville-Kent 1892)

Scleropages leichardti Günther 1864


Anguilla australis Richardson 1841

Anguilla bicolor McClelland 1844

Anguilla obscura Günther 1872

Anguilla marmorata Quoy & Gaimard 1824

Anguilla reinhardtii Steindachner 1867


Gymnothorax polyuranodon (Bleeker 1853)


Clupeoides cf. papuensis

Nematalosa erebi I (Günther 1868) everywhere but Pilbara

Nematalosa erebi II Pilbara

Potamalosa richmondia (Macleay 1879)


Thryssa scratchleyi (Ramsey & Ogilby 1886)


Cinetodus froggatti (Ramsey & Ogilby 1886)

Hemiarius dioctes (Kailola 2000)

Neoarius berneyi (Whitley 1941)

Neoarius graeffei (Kner & Steindachner 1867)

Neoarius midgleyi (Kailola & Pierce 1988)

Sciades leptaspis (Bleeker 1862)

Sciades paucus (Kailola 2000)


Anodontiglanis dahli Rendahl 1922 multiple spp. (2?)

Neosiluroides cooperensis Allen & Feinberg 1998

Neosilurus ater (Perugia 1894)

Neosilurus brevidorsalis (Günther 1867)

Neosilurus gloveri Allen & Feinberg 1998

Neosilurus hyrtlii I Steindachner 1867 E Qld, MDB, LEB

Neosilurus hyrtlii II Cape York, Gulf-Ord, Barkley

Neosilurus hyrtlii III Kimberley

Neosilurus hyrtlii IV Pilbara

Neosilurus mollespiculum Allen & Feinberg 1998

Neosilurus pseudospinosus I Allen & Feinberg 1998 from Ord E

Neosilurus pseudospinosus II from Drydale W

Neosilurus sp. Bulloo

Porochilus argenteus (Zietz 1896)

Porochilus obbesi Weber 1913

Porochilus rendahli (Whitley 1928)

Porochilus sp. Gulf of Carpentaria

Tandanus tandanus Mitchell 1838

Tandanus bellingerensis Welsh, Jerry, Burrows & Rourke 2017

Tandanus tropicanus Welsh, Jerry & Burrows 2014

"Tandanus" bostocki Whitley 1944


Prototroctes maraena Günther 1864

Retropinna semoni I (Weber 1895) S SE Qld

Retropinna semoni II N SE Qld

Retropinna semoni III NSW coast

Retropinna semoni IV MDB, W Vic

Retropinna semoni V LEB

Retropinna tasmanica McCulloch 1920


Lepidogalaxias salamandroides Mees 1961


Galaxias aequipinnis Raadik 2014

Galaxias arcanus Raadik 2014

Galaxias auratus Johnston 1883

Galaxias brevipinnis I Günther 1866

Galaxias brevipinnis II Clarence

Galaxias brevipinnis III Bellinger

Galaxias brevissimus Raadik 2014

Galaxias fontanus Fulton 1978

Galaxias fuscus Mack 1936

Galaxias gunaikurnai Raadik 2014

Galaxias johnstoni Scott 1936

Galaxias lanceolatus Raadik 2014

Galaxias longifundus Raadik 2014

Galaxias maculatus (Jenyns 1842)

Galaxias mcdowalli Raadik 2014

Galaxias mungadhan Raadik 2014

Galaxias occidentalis Ogilby 1899 multiple spp. (2?)

Galaxias olidus Günther 1866

Galaxias oliros Raadik 2014

Galaxias ornatus Castelnau 1873

Galaxias parvus Frankenberg 1968

Galaxias pedderensis Frankenberg 1968

Galaxias rostratus Klunzinger 1872

Galaxias "sp. 13 "hunter"

Galaxias "sp. 14 "yalmy"

Galaxias "sp. 15 "morwell"

Galaxias "sp. 16 "moroka"

Galaxias supremus Raadik 2014

Galaxias tantangara Raadik 2014

Galaxias tanycephalus Fulton 1978

Galaxias terenasus Raadik 2014

Galaxias truttaceus Valenciennes (ex Cuvier) in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1846

Galaxiella munda McDowall 1978

Galaxiella nigrostriata (Shipway 1953)

Galaxiella pusilla (Mack 1936)

Galaxiella toourtkoourt Coleman & Raadik 2015

Lovettia sealii (Johnston 1883)

Neochanna cleaveri (Scott 1934)

Paragalaxias dissimilis (Regan 1906)

Paragalaxias eleotroides McDowall & Fulton 1978

Paragalaxias julianus McDowall & Fulton 1978

Paragalaxias mesotes McDowall & Fulton 1978


Zenarchopterus novaeguineae (Weber 1913)


Strongylura krefftii (Günther 1866)


Craterocephalus amniculus Crowley & Ivantsoff 1990

Craterocephalus cuneiceps Whitley 1944

Craterocephalus eyresii (Steindachner 1883)

Craterocephalus fluviatilis McCulloch 1912

Craterocephalus helenae Ivantsoff, Crowley, & Allen 1987

Craterocephalus marianae Ivantsoff, Crowley, & Allen 1987

Craterocephalus marjoriae Whitley 1948

Craterocephalus dalhousiensis Ivantsoff & Glover 1974

Craterocephalus lentiginosus Ivantsoff, Crowley, & Allen 1987

Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum I (Günther 1867) N Qld

Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum II Atherton

Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum III E Qld, Cooper

Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum IV SE Qld, MDB

Craterocephalus stramineus I (Whitley 1950)

Craterocephalus stramineus II Ord/Victoria

Craterocephalus stramineus III Gregory


Cairnsichthys bitaeniatus Allen, Hammer & Raadik 2018

Cairnsichthys rhombosomoides (Nichols & Raven 1928)

Iriatherina werneri I Meinken 1974 Cape York

Iriatherina werneri II Arnhemland

Melanotaenia australis (Castelnau 1875)

Melanotaenia duboulayi (Castelnau 1878)

Melanotaenia eachamensis Allen & Cross 1982

Melanotaenia exquisita Allen 1978 multiple spp. (3?)

Melanotaenia fluviatilis (Castelnau 1878)

Melanotaenia gracilis Allen 1978

Melanotaenia maccullochi I Ogilby 1915 NE Qld

Melanotaenia maccullochi II Darwin

Melanotaenia nigrans (Richardson 1843)

Melanotaenia pygmaea Allen 1978

Melanotaenia splendida (Peters 1866)

Melanotaenia trifasciata (Rendahl 1922) multiple spp. (4?)

Melanotaenia utcheensis McGuigan 2001

Melanotaenia sp. Malanda

Melanotaenia sp. Running River

Melanotaenia sp. Sth Johnstone River

Melanotaenia sp. Tully River

Rhadinocentrus ornatus I Regan 1914 SEQ

Rhadinocentrus ornatus II CEQ

Rhadinocentrus ornatus III far N NSW

Rhadinocentrus ornatus IV N NSW

Rhadinocentrus ornatus V Orara


Pseudomugil gertrudae Weber 1911

Pseudomugil mellis Allen & Ivantsoff 1982

Pseudomugil signifer I Kner 1866 S of Rockhampton

Pseudomugil signifer II N of Rockhampton

Pseudomugil tenellus I Taylor 1964

Pseudomugil tenellus II Daly

Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnis (Ivantsoff, Unmack, Saeed & Crowley 1991)


Ophisternon candidum (Mees 1962)

Ophisternon gutturale (Richardson 1845) multiple spp. (2-3?)


Notesthes robusta (Günther 1860)


Lates calcarifer (Bloch 1790)


Ambassis agassizii Steindachner 1867 multiple spp. (2)

Ambassis agrammus Günther 1867

Ambassis elongatus (Castelnau 1878)

Ambassis macleayi (Castelnau 1878)

Ambassis miops Günther 1872

Ambassis sp. "muelleri" multiple spp.

Denariusa australis (Steindachner 1867)

Parambassis gulliveri (Castelnau 1878)


Bostockia porosa Castelnau 1873 multiple spp. (2?)

Gadopsis bispinosus I Sanger 1984 non Goulburn

Gadopsis bispinosus II Goulburn R

Gadopsis marmoratus I Richardson 1848 S Vic/Tas

Gadopsis marmoratus II MDB

Gadopsis marmoratus III Glenelg/Wimmera/SE SA

Gadopsis marmoratus IV E Vic

Gadopsis marmoratus V W Vic

Maccullochella ikei Rowland 1986

Maccullochella macquariensis (Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1829)

Maccullochella mariensis Rowland 1993

Maccullochella peelii (Mitchell 1838)

Macquaria ambigua I (Richardson 1845) MDB

Macquaria ambigua II LEB

Macquaria ambigua III Fitzroy

Macquaria australasica I Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1830 MDB

Macquaria australasica II Hawkesbury

Macquaria australasica III Kangaroo

Macquaria wujalwujalensis (Pusey & Kennard 2001)

Nannatherina balstoni Regan 1906

Nannoperca australis I Günther 1861 W Vic, SA, NSW, Tas

Nannoperca australis II E Vic, NE Tas

Nannoperca obscura (Klunzinger 1872)

Nannoperca oxleyana Whitley 1940

Nannoperca pygmaea Morgan, Beatty & Adams 2013

Nannoperca variegata Kuiter & Allen 1986

Nannoperca vittata I (Castelnau 1873)

Nannoperca vittata II Margaret

Nannoperca vittata III S Coast


Percalates colonorum (Günther 1863)

Percalates novemaculeatus (Steindachner 1866)


Amniataba percoides I (Günther 1864) widespread

Amniataba percoides II Ord/Baines

Amniataba percoides III Pentacost

Amniataba percoides IV Drysdale / Carson

Amniataba percoides V Fitzroy

Bidyanus bidyanus (Mitchell 1838)

Bidyanus welchi (McCulloch & Waite 1917)

Hannia greenwayi I Vari 1978

Hannia greenwayi II Prince Regent & Roe

Hephaestus carbo (Ogilby & McCulloch 1916)

Hephaestus epirrhinos Vari & Hutchins 1978

Hephaestus fuliginosus (Macleay 1883)

Hephaestus jenkinsi (Whitley 1945)

Hephaestus tulliensis De Vis 1884

Leiopotherapon aheneus (Mees 1963)

Leiopotherapon macrolepis Vari 1978

Leiopotherapon unicolor (Günther 1859)

Pingalla gilberti Whitley 1955

Pingalla lorentzi (Weber 1910)

Pingalla midgleyi Allen & Merrick 1984

Scortum barcoo (McCulloch & Waite 1917)

Scortum hillii (Castelnau 1878)

Scortum neili Allen, Larson & Midgley 1993

Scortum ogilbyi Whitley 1951

Scortum parviceps (Macleay 1883)

Syncomistes bonapartensis Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Syncomistes butleri Vari 1978

Syncomistes carcharus Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Syncomistes dilliensis Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Syncomistes holsworth Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Syncomistes kimberleyensis Vari 1978

Syncomistes moranensis Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Syncomistes rastellus Vari & Hutchins 1978

Syncomistes trigonicus Vari 1978

Syncomistes versicolor Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Syncomistes wunambal Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Variichthys lacustris (Mees & Kailola 1977)


Kuhlia marginata (Cuvier 1829)

Kuhlia rupestris (Lacépède 1802)


Glossamia aprion (Richardson 1842) multiple spp. (5?)


Toxotes chatareus (Hamilton 1822)

Toxotes lorentzi Weber 1910

Toxotes kimberleyensis Allen 2004


Trachystoma petardi (Castelnau 1875)


Pseudaphritis urvillii (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1832)


Bostrychus zonatus Weber 1907

Bunaka gyrinoides (Bleeker 1853)

Giurus margaritacea (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1837)

Gobiomorphus australis (Krefft 1864)

Gobiomorphus coxii (Krefft 1864)

Hypseleotris aurea (Shipway 1950)

Hypseleotris barrawayi Larson 2007

Hypseleotris compressa (Krefft 1864)

Hypseleotris ejuncida Hoese & Allen in Allen 1982

Hypseleotris galii I (Ogilby 1898) S of Mary

Hypseleotris galii II Mary

Hypseleotris galii III MDB & N of Mary

Hypseleotris kimberleyensis Hoese & Allen in Allen 1982

Hypseleotris klunzingeri I (Ogilby 1898) MDB & LEB

Hypseleotris klunzingeri II Coastal, S of Fitzroy

Hypseleotris klunzingeri III Fitzroy

Hypseleotris regalis Hoese & Allen in Allen 1982

Hypseleotris sp. 1 Garimbu

Hypseleotris sp. 2 Carson

Hypseleotris sp. 3 Charnley / Calder

Hypseleotris sp. Midgley

Hypseleotris sp. Lake

Hypseleotris sp.part of a hybridogenic complex of ~7 lineages

Kimberleyeleotris hutchinsi Hoese & Allen 1987

Kimberleyeleotris notata Hoese & Allen 1987

Mogurnda adspersa (Castelnau 1878) multiple spp. (8?)

Mogurnda clivicola Allen & Jenkins 1999

Mogurnda larapintae (Zietz 1896)

Mogurnda mogurnda (Richardson 1844) multiple spp. (8?)

Mogurnda oligolepis Allen & Jenkins 1999 multiple spp. (3?)

Mogurnda thermophila Allen & Jenkins 1999

Oxyeleotris aruensis (Weber 1911)

Oxyeleotris fimbriata (Weber 1907)

Oxyeleotris lineolata (Steindachner 1867)

Oxyeleotris selheimi (Macleay 1884)

"Oxyeleotris" nullipora Roberts 1978

Philypnodon grandiceps (Krefft 1864) multiple spp. (6?)

Philypnodon macrostomus Hoese & Reader 2006 multiple spp. (4?)


Milyeringa justitia Larson & Foster 2013

Milyeringa veritas Whitley 1945


Awaous acritosus Watson 1994

Awaous ocellaris (Broussonet 1782)

Chlamydogobius eremius (Zietz 1896)

Chlamydogobius gloveri Larson 1995

Chlamydogobius japalpa Larson 1995

Chlamydogobius micropterus Larson 1995

Chlamydogobius squamigenus Larson 1995

Glossogobius aureus Akihito & Meguro 1975 multiple spp. (3?)

Glossogobius bellendenensis Hoese & Allen 2009

Glossogobius concavifrons (Ramsey & Ogilby 1886)

Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton 1822) multiple spp. (2?)

Glossogobius illimis Hoese & Allen 2012

Glossogobius munroi Hoese & Allen 2012

Glossogobius nanus Hoese, Allen & Hadiaty 2017

Schismatogobius hoesei Keith, Lord & Larson 2007

Sicyopterus cynocephalus (Valenciennes 1837)

Sicyopterus lagocephalus (Pallas 1770)

Sicyopus discordipinnis Watson 1995

Smilosicyopus fehlmanni (Parent & Maciolek 1993)

Smilosicyopus leprurus (Sakai & Nakamura 1979)

Stenogobius cf. genivittatus

Stiphodon pelewensis Herre 1936

Stiphodon rutilaureus Watson 1996

Stiphodon semoni Weber 1895

Stiphodon surrufus Watson & Kottelat 1995


Kurtus gulliveri Castelnau 1878


Cynoglossus heterolepis Weber 1910


Brachirus salinarum Ogilby 1910

Brachirus selheimi (Macleay 1882)

Leptachirus darwinensis Randall 2007

Leptachirus polylepis Randall 2007

Leptachirus triramus Randall 2007

Synclidopus hogani Johnson & Randall 2008