Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
BiologyOccur in a wide variety of habitat, but mostly in still or slow-flowing waters, mainly in streams, rivers and lakes within a short distance of the sea. Can survive in salinities up to 50 ppt. Feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, and crustaceans. Adults typically migrate downstream into estuaries during high spring tides in autumn to spawn on fringing vegetation. Spawning does not occur beyond the river estuaries, making this species 'only marginally catadromous' (Ref. 46888). Many perish after spawning but some survive another year. Eggs develop out of water for two weeks and hatch upon the arrival of the next spring tide. Newly hatched larvae spend their first 5-6 months at sea before returning to fresh shoals of whitebait during spring. An important component of whitebait fisheries throughout the Southern Hemisphere (Ref. 44894). Utilized fresh and eaten fried (Ref. 9988, 44894).