Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Occurs in mud burrows in upper reaches of coastal streams for the first four years of life until metamorphosis and subsequent downstream migration to the sea (Ref. 44894). Adults inhabit the sea for an undetermined period and are parasitic on other fishes. Migrate upstream which may last for 16 months and spawn in freshwater (Ref. 5154). Adults are often found below weirs and dams during their spawning migration which may take them 60 km or more upstream of the coast (Ref. 44894). Migration mostly takes place in rainy nights when water levels are rising, with temperatures between 12-14.5°C and when there is extensive cloud cover or during the dark phase of the moon (Ref. 5154). Sometimes they exit the water by wriggling up the bank to bypass obstacles to migration (Ref. 44894). Adults stop feeding while in freshwater and die shortly after spawning. Maximum length reported to reach 62 cm TL (Ref. 5154). Common length is 45-50 cm. Status of abundance decreased due to proliferation of obstacles such as dams and weirs to upstream spawning runs (Ref. 44894).In New Zealand, the Maori use the Pouched Lamprey at the beginning of their upstream migration for human consumption and ceremonial purposes (McDowall, 1990). These are caught using weirs built along river edges or collected by hand as they are making their way up the rocky face of falls. They are then dried for human consumption (Ref. 89241).
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Distribution

South America, South Australia, South New Zealand. Southwestern Atlantic, southwestern and soustheastern Pacific.Coasts of South America: Chile, southern Argentina. Chile: Andalién, Biobío, Carampangue, Malleco, Picoiquén, Huequén, Purén, Claro, Mehuín, Calle-Calle, Valdivia, Toma Galeones, Santo Domingo, Maullín, Curilelfu, and Donguil rivers, and Lake Risopatron;Argentina: Limay River;Falkland and South Georgia islands.
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Southern Hemisphere: southern Australia, New Zealand, South America, Falkland Islands, and South Georgia; ascends rivers to spawn.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 620 mm TL
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Max. size

62.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 39873))
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine
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Migration

Anadromous. Fish that ascend rivers to spawn, as salmon and hilsa do. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Adults inhabit the sea for an undetermined period and are parasitic on other fishes. Migrate upstream which may last for 16 months and spawn in freshwater.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Geotria australis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 12 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTGAGCAGGAATAGTAGGAACCGCACTAAGTATCCTAATTCGAGCAGAACTAAGCCAACCCGGCACGCTATTAGGTGATGACCAAATCTACAATGTCATTGTTACAGCCCATGCTTTTGTTATAATTTTCTTTATAGTTATACCAATCATAATCGGAGGCTTTGGTAATTGATTAATTCCCCTAATACTTGGTGCCCCAGACATGGCATTCCCCCGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTACCCCCATCCCTTCTACTTCTTTTAGCCTCTTCAGGGGTCGAAGCCGGAGCAGGTACAGGTTGGACAGTATACCCCCCGCTAGCAGGGAATCTTGCACACATAGGAGCCTCCGTTGACTTAACAATTTTCTCGCTACATCTTGCCGGGATCTCCTCAATTTTAGGAGCAATTAACTTCATTACTACTATTTTCAATATAAAACCCCCAACTATAACACAGTACCAAACACCCCTATTCGTGTGATCTGTATTAATTACCGCAGTTCTTCTCCTACTTGCACTACCAGTTCTAGCGGCTGCCATTACAATATTACTGACAGATCGAAATTTAAATACAGCCTTTTTCGACCCTGCTGGGGGAGGAGATCCCATTCTTTACCAACATTTA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Geotria australis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 12
Specimens with Barcodes: 16
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries
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Wikipedia

Pouched lamprey

The pouched lamprey (Geotria australis) also known as wide-mouthed lamprey, is the only species in genus Geotria, which is in turn the only genus in the family Geotriidae. It is native to the southern hemisphere where it spends part of its life in the sea and part in freshwater where it returns to spawn and die.

Description[edit]

It is a species of lamprey that occurs throughout much of the southern hemisphere. It has a thin eel-like body up to 60 cm (24 in) long, with two low dorsal fins on the back half. Like other lampreys, it has no jaws, instead having a sucker. The skin is a striking silver in adult lampreys caught fresh from the sea but soon changes to brown after they have been in freshwater for some time, due to deposition of biliverdin. The freshwater ammocoetes or larvae stage of the life cycle are a dull brown in colour for most of their lives, changing to silver with blue-green stripes during their six-month metamorphosis into the adult stage, after which they migrate downstream to the sea. Adults' eyes are relatively small, and located on the side of the head. When fully mature, males develop a baggy pouch under their eyes, the function of which is unknown. However there have been suggestions that the pouch has been used by males during breeding times for gathering stones to make a nest.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The pouched lamprey is widespread in the Southern Hemisphere, occurring in the southwest and southeast corners of Australia, and New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. It spends some of its adult life in the open sea, where it lives as a parasite on other fish, attaching itself to the gills or side of the fish and rasping at the tissues below. It returns to fresh water to breed, spending up to eighteen months sexually maturing before spawning and dying shortly afterwards. The ammocoetes remain in fresh water until reaching metamorphosis, a period of around four years.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pouch use
  2. ^ "Geotria australis: Pouched lamprey". Fishbase. Retrieved 2013-12-15. 
  • Allen, Gerald R. (1989). Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. 
  • Todd, P.R.; Wilson, R.D. (1983). "Epidermal pigmentation and liver coloration in the southern hemisphere lamprey, Geotria australis Gray". New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 17: 21–26. doi:10.1080/00288330.1983.9515983. 
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