Some populations are the result of translocations, although few, healthy translocated populations remain. (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005)
Two, genetically distinct groups of Macquarie perch have been described from coastal and inland areas. Although it is likely that they represent different species, those species have not been described yet. (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005)
This freshwater species lives in rivers and stream, preferring deep, rocky pools. (Reide, 2004). They also favor cool and clear water with slow-moving riffles or shallow running water. (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Merrick and Schmida, 1984; Reide, 2004)spawn in lakes and above holes in faster moving riffles at depths of 0 to 4 meters. (DEH, 2005).
- Aquatic Biomes
- lakes and ponds
- rivers and streams
- Range depth
- 0 to 4 m
- 0.00 to 13.12 ft
- Sexual Dimorphism
- female larger
- Range mass
- 1.0 to 2.5 kg
- 2.20 to 5.51 lb
- Average mass
- 1.5 kg
- 3.30 lb
- Range length
- 18 to 50 cm
- 7.09 to 19.69 in
- Average length
- 30 cm
- 11.81 in
Breeding fish migrate upstream and gather in schools which can last for several weeks. Males nudge the female vent region which causes the release of eggs and then fertilization. Females are oviparous and mate each year. (Merrick and Schmida, 1984). (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Merrick and Schmida, 1984)
- Mating System
Spawning occurs in shallow upland streams and the fish usually migrate in order to spawn. Many fish use the same river to spawn each year. This occurs in fast-flowing water over gravel beds and the eggs stick to the gravel on the bottom of the water (demersal). (Merrick and Schmida, 1984). Females produce, on average, 32,000 eggs per kg of fish. (Allen, 1989; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Merrick and Schmida, 1984; Paxton, et al., 1989)
Maleusually mature around the age of two years old and 21 cm in length while females do not reach maturity until they are three years old and 30 cm in length.
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- broadcast (group) spawning
- Breeding interval
- Macquari perch breed yearly.
- Breeding season
- Breeding occurs from the end of October through early November.
- Average number of offspring
- 32,000 eggs per Kg of fish
- Range time to hatching
- 10 to 18 days
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 3 years
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 2 years
During spawning females remain close to the area where they laid their eggs in groups of two or four. One or two males usually accompany the females during this time to make sure that nothing happens to the eggs. After the eggs hatch the larvae travel downstream either through swimming or from the current of the stream. (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005)
- Parental Investment
- Range lifespan
- 26 (high) years
- Range lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 20 years
- Average lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 10 years
- Average lifespan
Communication and Perception
Research for how this species communicates and perceives its environment is insufficient. Like most fish, they probably use chemical and visual input as important modes of perceiving and communicating. (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Paxton, et al., 1989)
The bulk of their diet consists of aquatic invertebrates such as caddisfly, stonefly and mayfly species, with a small quantity of terrestrial insects taken as well. Adults feed at the bottom of lakes and rivers. Young are zooplanktivores, and eat water fleas, rotifers and water mites by sucking them up into their mouths. (Merrick and Schimda, 1984). (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Merrick and Schmida, 1984; Paxton, et al., 1989)
- Animal Foods
- aquatic or marine worms
- aquatic crustaceans
Predators on Macquaria novemaculeata) and the introduced species: rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and redfin (Perca fluviatilis). (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Paxton, et al., 1989)include Australian bass (
Macquarie perch are important predators in natural ecosystems, and prey to larger animals. The introduced fish species, Salmo trutta and Oncorhynchus mykiss, may compete with Macquarie perch for food. (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Macquarie perch have been and are still fished for food. They are important members of native Australian freshwater ecosystems. (ACT Government, 1999)
- Positive Impacts
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
When this species is relocated to other ranges or even within its home range, diseases from other fish are sometimes spread as well, affecting other fish species and other populations of Macquarie perch. (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005)
- Negative Impacts
- injures humans
Macquarie perch are considered endangered in Australia, but this is not yet reflected in international conservation organizations. Perca fluviatilis), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and brown trout (Salmo trutta). They are also threatened by dams, habitat destruction, sedimentation, heavy metal pollution, and introduced diseases. Dam removal is recommended for species recovery so that migration to spawning sites can occur. Illegal fishing occurs in some areas and overfishing is considered one of the contributing factors to the rarity of this species. (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005)is threatened by predation and competition from exotic fish species, including redfin (
Percichthyidae. Common names include: Macquarie perch, Macquarie-aborre, Macquaries barsch, mountain perch, black bream, silberauge, silvereye, and white-eye. (ACT Government, 1999; Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005; Paxton, et al., 1989)is in the Family
Leah Kosakowski (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Kevin Wehrly (editor, instructor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
- causes disease in humans
an animal which directly causes disease in humans. For example, diseases caused by infection of filarial nematodes (elephantiasis and river blindness).
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
uses sight to communicate
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
ACT Government, 1999. "Macquarie Perch (Macquaria australasica): An Endangered Species" (On-line). Action Plan No. 13. Accessed October 08, 2005 at http://www.environment.act.gov.au/Files/actionplans13.pdf.
Allen, G. 1989. Freshwater fishes of Australia.. Neptune City, New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, Inc.. Accessed October 08, 2005 at http://fishbase.org/References/SummaryRefList.cfm.
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005. "Macquaria australasica, Macquarie Perch" (On-line). Accessed October 07, 2005 at http://www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=66632.
Ingram, B., J. Douglas, M. Lintermans. 2000. Threatened Fishes of the World: Macquaria australasica, Cuvier 1830 (Percichthyidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 59: 68. Accessed October 09, 2005 at http://www.springerlink.com/media/e3d05mtqmg3ktxn7qu5m/contributions/h/6/3/2/h632wk7188x61340.pdf.
Merrick, J., G. Schmida. 1984. Australian freshwater fishes: biology and management. South Australia: Griffin Press Ltd. Accessed October 08, 2005 at http://fishbase.org/Ecology/FishEcologySummary.cfm?StockCode=10889&GenusName=Macquaria&SpeciesName=australasica.
Paxton, J., D. Hoese, G. Allen, J. Hanley. 1989. Pisces. Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Vol. 7: 665. Accessed October 08, 2005 at http://fishbase.org/References/FBRefsummary.cfm?id=7300.
Reide, K. 2004. Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Bonn, Germany: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. Accessed October 08, 2005 at http://fishbase.org/References/SummaryRefList.cfm?ID=10566&GenusName=Macquaria&SpeciesName=australasica.