Southern pygmy perch

Click to enlarge

Scientific Name
Nannoperca australis

Other Common Names

Commonly 65 mm, to 85 mm

Conservation Status
Common, widespread

Often found in small systems with a low flow rate and quiet vegetated areas in streams, billabongs, lakes and even irrigation channels.  Not usually found in open water, prefers covered habitats.  Often seems to form loose aggregations.

Victoria, south eastern South Australia, southern areas of the Murray-Darling basin in New South Wales.  Fragmentation of habitat and population is becoming a major concern especially in the Murray-Darling system to the extent that recolonisation of areas where individual populations are lost is being hindered.

Spawns multiple times from September to January, when water temperatures are above 16°C  During breeding males are territorial.  Female produces between 100 and 1,000 transparent round and non-adhesive eggs which are scattered over plants or the substrate.  When fully hydrated, fertilised eggs are mm in diameter.  Eggs hatch in 2 to 4 days producing larvae about 3 to 4 mm long.

Carnivorous, small crustaceans such as amphipods, ostracods and copepods, insects such as chionomid larvae, mayflies, mosquitos and other terrestrial insects.  Juvenile fish tend towards planktonic crustaceans whereas adults tend toward terrestrial insects and other larger prey.  Ideal fish to put in dams and ponds for mosquito control.

Not an angling species.

On the table
Not a food fish (for humans).

In the aquarium
An attractive aquarium fish which shows quite spectacular colours when in breeding condition.  Should be kept in a well planted aquarium and will spawn in captivity.  Best fed small live invertebrates.