Bony bream

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Nematalosa erebi

A silver coloured fish with a blunt snout. Distinguished by the last ray of the dorsal fin which is a long filament. Grows to 47 cm but commonly 15-20 cm. Broadcast spawners with demersal eggs. Very important prey species underpinning floodplain productivity. Susceptible to low dissolved oxygen and commonly observed in fish kills. Widely distributed throughout the Burdekin region. Known to occur throughout the Burdekin basin, and Bowen catchments), Black River basin, Ross River basin, and Haughton basin. Believed to occur also throughout the Don River basin.


Much of the information about fish species and their distribution in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region presented throughout this Wiki is based on the work of Pusey (2005). The Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) also provided access to their Northern Australian Fish (NAF) database (in press), which contains the most current available fish survey data for tropical Australia. Allan Webb also from ACTFR provided information of the expanding list of exotic fish species recorded from the immediate Townsville region principally the Ross River. Additional information about species distribution is the authors experience (principally Jim Tait) and knowledge of the region. Descriptions of species are based on Allen et. al. (2002) and Pusey et. al (2004) with additional detail and comments by the authors of the Fish Passage Study.

Fish illustrations and mapping by Jason Carter. Illustrations have been drawn from specimens and photographs and after other illustrations, in particular Swainston and Ruse (in Allen 1997) and Pusey (in Pusey et. al. 2004)


  • Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (in press) Northern Australia Fish (NAF) database.
  • Pusey, B. Kennard, M Arthington, A (2004) Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia,CSIRO Publishing. (Available from

External Links

Bony bream © NQ Dry Tropics
Bony bream © NQ Dry Tropics
Dry Tropics distribution
Dry Tropics distribution

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