Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits mainly clear streams, often deeply shaded and relatively fast-flowing, although it sometimes occurs in lakes, particularly in Tasmania. In New Zealand and parts of Tasmania, juveniles occur in marine waters, presumably the larvae are washed out to the sea. The existence of a marine stage is regarded to be facultative rather than obligatory in Australia. Swims near the bottom, usually around the cover of rocks and logs. More common in uploads (Snowy Mountains, Otway Ranges, central Tasmania) than at lower elevations (Ref. 44894).
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Distribution

Oceania: found in southeastern Australia in streams draining east and south from the Great Dividing Range; Flinders and King Islands in Bass Strait; widespread in Tasmania; also in New Zealand and the Chatham, Auckland and Campbell Islands.
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Australia and New Zealand and Chatham, Auckland and Campbell islands.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 200 mm SL
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Max. size

28.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 44894))
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

benthopelagic; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine
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Depth range based on 7 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.3 - 1.4

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.3 - 1.4
 
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Migration

Amphidromous. Refers to fishes that regularly migrate between freshwater and the sea (in both directions), but not for the purpose of breeding, as in anadromous and catadromous species. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.Characteristic elements in amphidromy are: reproduction in fresh water, passage to sea by newly hatched larvae, a period of feeding and growing at sea usually a few months long, return to fresh water of well-grown juveniles, a further period of feeding and growing in fresh water, followed by reproduction there (Ref. 82692).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Galaxias brevipinnis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; bait: usually
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Wikipedia

Climbing galaxias

The climbing galaxias or kooaro (Galaxias brevipinnis) is a fish of the family Galaxiidae found in Australia, New Zealand, and nearby islands. The name climbing galaxias is used in Australia, and koaro in New Zealand. Further vernacular names include short-finned galaxias, broad-finned galaxias, Cox's mountain galaxias, and Pieman galaxias.

Appearance[edit]

The climbing galaxias is unlikely to be confused with the other diadromous whitebait species because of its shape. It is elongated and slender, shaped almost like a tube. The sides and back are covered in a variable pattern of golden blotches and bands that gleam and glitter in the sun, making the climbing galaxias an attractive fish.

Lifestyle[edit]

These fish live a basically benthic lifestyle and in most respects behave like the common galaxias, a closely related galaxiid. They inhabit mainly clear streams, often deeply shaded and relatively fast-flowing, although they sometimes occur in lakes, particularly in Tasmania. Climbing galaxias also have the ability to penetrate well inland in many river systems, thus have a more widespread distribution than the other whitebait species.

A major distinguishing feature of this species is its ability to climb up very steep surfaces such as waterfalls, wet rocks, and the sluices of dams, and this gives rise to one of its common names. Even juveniles of the species are capable of climbing up and over the sides of buckets after being trapped in whitebait nets.

Climbing ability is not unique among galaxias species, but it reaches its greatest expression in the climbing galaxias, which have special features that enhance their climbing abilities. The downward orientation of their fins and the strong, backward-facing ridges on the front part of their fins possibly contribute to this ability.

Lifecycle[edit]

G. brevipinnis eggs are believed to be washed downstream to the sea, where the young live for about six months before returning to fresh water as part of the large, mixed-species schools known as whitebait. They were once part of a commercial whitebait fishery in Tasmania, but now fishing for them has been restricted to recreational anglers with significant restrictions on allowable tackle and methods. Land-locked populations have a similar lifestyle except the young spend the first part of their lives in inland lakes and backwaters.

Diet[edit]

These fish are generalised carnivores of invertebrates, including aquatic and terrestrial insects, mayfly and caddisfly larvae, and amphipods.

Distribution[edit]

Their distribution extends to coastal streams in southeastern Australia from Adelaide and Kangaroo Island in South Australia, through coastal Victoria including Wilsons Promontory, Tasmania, Flinders and King Islands, and north along the New South Wales coast to around Sydney, as well as New Zealand including the Chatham, Auckland and Campbell Islands.

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