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Megalops Cyprinoides

Oxeye herring

A striking silver fish with large eyes. Sometimes has a bluish-green to olive tint. Commonly grows to 50 cm. Obtains oxygen in poor water quality conditions by ‘rolling’ at the surface and holding air bubbles in a vascularised mouth cavity. The last ray of the dorsal fin is a long filament. Common inhabitant of floodplain wetlands. Marine breeder. Distributed throughout the Black River basin, Ross River basin and Haughton River basin. Known to occur in Saltwater Creek and expected to occur in all other creeks of the Don River basin. Absent from the Upper Burdekin catchment. Historically occurred in the Bowen River catchment. Range has been reduced due to fish passage barriers within the Ross River, lower Burdekin (Clare Weir) and Haughton River (Val Bird Weir) catchments.


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 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 http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/3922.htm)

External Links

Tarpon Burdekin distribution

Burdekin Region distribution

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while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at http://www.nqdrytropics.com.au
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