Striped Gudgeon, Gobiomorphus australis Click to enlarge image
A Striped Gudgeon caught at an altitude of 46 m, in a creek flowing into Smiths Lake, New South Wales, 9 Sep 2009. The flowing, tanin-stained stream had aquatic vegetation and a sandy substrate. The fish was photographed in an aquarium. Image: Robert McCormack
© Robert McCormack

Fast Facts

  • Classification
  • Size Range
    The Striped Gudgeon grows to 22 cm in length but is more commonly seen up to 12 cm long.


The Striped Gudgeon is best recognised in the wild by the five to seven dark stripes on the sides of the body, and a dark stripe running posteriorly from the eye.

Striped Gudgeon, Gobiomorphus australis
A Striped Gudgeon caught at Skinners Creek, northern New South Wales, 04 December 2002 (AMS I.41848-003) Image: Mark McGrouther
© Australian Museum


The Striped Gudgeon has a small mouth that extends posteriorly to a point level with the front margin of the eye. It has two dorsal fins, the soft-rayed second dorsal fin being slightly taller than the spiny dorsal fin.

The background colour of the Striped Gudgeon varies from brown to grey dorsally fading to cream or grey ventrally. It has five to seven dark stripes on the sides of the body, and a dark stripe running posteriorly from the eye.

The pectoral fin base is crossed by a white bar, and the upper pectoral fin base has a dark spot. The two dorsal fins and caudal fin have rows of brown spots.


The species is mostly found in slow-flowing, often muddy water streams.


The Striped Gudgeon is endemic to Australia, occurring in coastal streams of southern Queensland, New South Wales and eastern Victoria.

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.

Feeding and diet

Adults feed on Eastern Gambusia and aquatic insects.

Breeding behaviours

The breeding season for this species extends from late summer into autumn. During this time, the colouration of males intensifies.


  1. Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
  2. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  3. Larson, H.K. & D.F. Hoese in McDowall, R.M. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
  4. Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409