Photo credit: Luke Pearce

SOUTHERN PYGMY PERCH

It is a threatened species in NSW and has only been recorded from a handful of sites in the last 25 years

Appearance

A small fish at 65mm – 85mm in length

Habitat

Often found in small systems with good aquatic vegetation cover and water quality, such as streams, billabongs and lakes.

Diet

Carnivorous – will eat small crustaceans such as amphipods, ostracods and copepods; insects such as mayflies, mosquitoes and other terrestrial insects

Breeding

The females lay eggs multiple times from September to January, producing 100 – 1000 round, transparent eggs that are scattered across plants and rocks.

Eggs hatch in 2-4 days and produce larvae that are 3-4mm long.

The males develop a bright red fin during the breeding season and they are often confused with baby redfin and the mosquito fish.

Predators

Preyed upon by introduced species including the Redfin perch and Eastern gambusia.

Life expectancy

Most live 1 to 2 years, but can survive up to 5 years of age.

Threatened species

It is a threatened species in NSW and has only been recorded from a handful of sites in the last 25 years. New populations are occasionally discovered, most recently in the Lachlan drainage north of Yass. In NSW only two other populations are currently known, from near Holbrook and Albury.

It is believed that the decline in this species could be in part by the predation of alien species, e.g. Redfin perch, trout and Eastern gambusia. Habitat alteration such as loss of aquatic vegetation, floodplain alienation, cold-water pollution and seasonal flow changes/reductions is also likely to be involved.

More information