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Flyspeck hardyhead

Flyspeck hardyheadClick to enlarge

Scientific Name
Craterocephalus stercusmuscarum

Other Common Names
Freshwater Hardyhead, Freshwater Silverside, Line-eye, Mitchellian Hardyhead, Northern Fresh Water Hardyhead, Speckled Crat, Worrell's Freshwater Hardyhead

Size
To 78 mm, commonly 56 mm

Conservation Status
Not threatened.

Habitat
Flyspecked Hardyhead are found in a variety of tropical rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds and impoundments including fast-flowing water. Generally prefers shallow water over a sand, gravel or muddy substrate with aquatic vegetation.  Shaols of the species may be found in still or slow moving sections of streams.

Distribution
Common throughout its range which extends from the Roper River in the Northern Territory, through coastal drainages to southern Queensland.

Reproduction
Spawning is believed to be stimulated by increased water temperature and photo-period, with a peak in spawning has been observed in spring and early summere.  The eggs are adhesive and are laid amongst aquatic vegetation or amongst emergent vegetation near the water's edge.  No parental care has been observed.

Diet
C. stercusmarium eats microcrustacians, rootifers, aquatic insects and algae.

Angling
Not an anging species

On the table
Not a table fish

In the aquarium
Does well in an aquarium and is easy to maintain.  Capture from the wild in Queensland is limited to 20 fish. Can be bred in captivity.