Snakehead gudgeon

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Snakehead gudgeon

Giurus margeritacea

One of a number of gudgeons in the region, this species is spectacularly coloured. Rich brown, steel grey/blue and yellow/ochre markings. The males in particular at breeding times are vividly coloured. Grows to over 25 cm. Estuarine dependent. Distributed throughout the Black River basin, Haughton River basin and Ross River basin. Believed to also occur in Saltwater Creek 1 and in the Lower Burdekin catchment. The species historical range has probably been impacted by fish passage barriers in the Ross, Haughton and Lower Burdekin catchments.

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Much of the information about fish species and their distribution in the Dry Tropics Catchments 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 Norther 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

Snakehead gudgeon Dry Tropics distribution

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