The Salamanderfish is an elongate species with a cylindrical body and reddish eyes. It is greenish-brown above and pale below. It has dark blotches and silver speckles on the sides of the body. It grows to about 7 cm in length. Males are smaller than females.
The Salamanderfish is an elongate species with a cylindrical body and reddish eyes. It is greenish-brown above and pale below. It has dark blotches and silver speckles on the sides of the body.
The Salamanderfish is the only species in the family Lepidogalaxiidae.
The species is found in pools in sandy peat flat areas. These waters are usually darkly tannin stained and often very acidic (pH 3.0-6.5). When pools start to dry up in summer, the fish constructs a small burrow in which it aestivates until heavy rains fall in winter.
It is endemic to Australia, occurring in a restricted area of Western Australia between the Albany District and Scott River.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The Salamanderfish cannot move its eyes. Instead it has an unusually flexible neck, that allows the head to be moved independently of the body.
- Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
- Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
- Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.