Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimen Records: 16
Specimens with Sequences: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 2
Public Records: 5
Public Species: 1
Public BINs: 1
Maccullochella is a genus of large Australian predatory freshwater fish within the Percichthyidae family. The Maccullochella genus was named after an early Australian fish researcher with the surname McCulloch.
The Maccullochella species are called 'cod' in the vernacular.
At the time of European settlement of Australia, members of the Maccullochella genus dominated the Murray-Darling river system (Murray cod, M. peelii, and trout cod, M. macquariensis) and 4 East Coast river systems (eastern freshwater cod, M. ikei, of the Clarence and Richmond Rivers, Brisbane River cod, Maccullochella sp., and Mary River cod, M. mariensis).
As large, long-lived, top-order predators with delayed sexual maturity and relatively low fecundity (fertility) Maccullochella species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing, siltation and other forms of habitat degradation, and river regulation by dams and weirs that alter river environments and negatively affect spawning and recruitment (survival) of young fish.
The Maccullochella species have not fared well since European settlement. All are endangered or critically endangered except for Murray cod, which are considered 'Threatened' and 'Vulnerable' under national and state legislation. There are grave concerns over the future of wild Murray cod now, as there for all the Maccullochella species.
There are currently four recognized species in this genus:
- Maccullochella ikei Rowland, 1986 (Eastern Freshwater Cod)
- Maccullochella macquariensis (G. Cuvier, 1829) (Trout Cod)
- Maccullochella mariensis Rowland, 1993 (Mary River Cod)
- Maccullochella peelii (T. L. Mitchell, 1838) (Murray Cod)
- Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology 364: p.560. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2014). Species of Maccullochella in FishBase. February 2014 version.
Nock C.J., Elphinstone M.S., Rowland S.J. and Baverstock, P.R. (2010). Phylogenetics and revised taxonomy of the Australian freshwater cod genus, Maccullochella (Percichthyidae). Marine and Freshwater Research 61: 980–991.
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Brisbane River cod
The Brisbane River cod was a unique form of Maccullochella cod that occurred naturally in the Brisbane River system, an east coast river system in south east Queensland, Australia. Their exact taxonomic status is not known, but based on several genetic studies it is suspected that Brisbane River Cod were a species intermediate between eastern freshwater cod (Maccullochella ikei) of the Clarence River and Richmond River systems in northern New South Wales and Mary River cod of the Mary River in central Queensland.
All naturally occurring Maccullochella cod in east coast drainages ultimately originate from Murray cod, Maccullochella peelii that entered an east coast river system, likely the Clarence, via a natural river capture event somewhere between 0.62 and 1.62 million years ago (mean estimate 1.1 million years ago), as estimated by DNA divergence rates.
The Brisbane River has now been restocked with Mary River cod from the Mary River system.
- Anon. (2004). New South Wales Eastern (Freshwater) Cod (Maccullochella ikei) Recovery Plan. New South Wales Department of Fisheries, Port Nelson, New South Wales, Australia.
- Bearlin, A.R. and Tikel, D. (2002) Conservation genetics of Murray-Darling Basin fish: Silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus), Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii), and Trout cod (M. macquariensis). In: Managing Fish Translocation and Stocking in the Murray-Darling Basin (workshop proceedings), Canberra, 25–26 September 2002. World Wildlife Fund, Sydney.
- Jerry, D.R., Elphinstone, M.S and Baverstock, P.R. (2001) Phylogenetic Relationships of Australian Members of the Family Percichthyidae Inferred from Mitochondrial 12S rRNA Sequence Data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18: 335–347.
- Nock C.J., Elphinstone M.S., Rowland S.J. and Baverstock, P.R. (2010). Phylogenetics and revised taxonomy of the Australian freshwater cod genus, Maccullochella (Percichthyidae). Marine and Freshwater Research 61: 980–991.
- Rowland, S.J. (1993) Maccullochella ikei, an endangered species of freshwater cod (Pisces: Percichthyidae) from the Clarence River System, NSW, and M. peelii mariensis, a new subspecies from the Mary River System, QLD. Records of the Australian Museum 45: 121–145.
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