Western Carp Gudgeon
Other Common Names
To 65 mm
In slow flowing sometimes turbid, heavily weeded areas 1-2 m up to 3 m deep. Will congregate in large schools below dams and weirs. In some locations has been adversely effected by river regulation causing water level changes exposing spawning sites.
Widespread throughout the tributaries of the Murray-Darling. Common, often abundant. An important forage fish for the larger native species such as Murray cod, golden perch, Macquarie perch and freshwater catfish. Early researchers reported this species to be a critical food source for juvenile Murray cod, today this role has been to some extent supplanted by juvenile carp.
In late spring to early summer when water temperature exceeds 22°C. Males establish territories, pairs form. Spawning occurs over a few hours. Eggs adhere to aquatic plants, grasses or twigs fairly close to water's surface. Male aerates and protects eggs. Newly hatched larvae are 1.8-2.1 mm long. The fry become free swimming after 3-4 days when they have absorbed the yolk sac.
Small aquatic insects etc.
In the Aquarium
A non-aggressive and interesting aquarium fish. Occasionally captured by anglers using small bait traps to collect freshwater shrimp. Not generally available through the aquarium trade. Will spawn in the aquarium but due to their small size the young are difficult to raise.
See also the Western carp gudgeon page on Peter Unmack's Index to the Australian Desert Fishes.