Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005j) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery Plan: Tasmanian Galaxiidae 2006-2010 (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2006k) [Recovery Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.4 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011i) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (24/05/2005) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2005e) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Paragalaxias mesotes (Arthurs Paragalaxias): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014sp) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Vulnerable (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Paragalaxias mesotes [77039]
Family Galaxiidae:Salmoniformes:Actinopterygii:Chordata:Animalia
Species author McDowall and Fulton, 1978
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Arthurs Paragalaxias is small, stout fish shaped like a bullet. Its head is long and slopes to a blunt, long snout. The species has a large mouth which reaches a little beyond the front of its eyes. The jaws are equal in size and there is an absence of canine teeth. Its eyes are large and positioned high on the head, projecting above the head profile (McDowall 1996).

Its dorsal fins are small (between nine-12 rays). The rays are either equal in length or the anterior rays are longer and begin behind the pelvic fin bases. The anal fin is also small (between seven to nine rays with the middle rays being the longest) and is rounded in shape. The pectoral fins are low on the paragalaxias' sides and are between 13-15 rays. The species has six pelvic fin rays. The tail is forked slightly and the caudal peduncle (the part just before the tail fans out) is long and slender (McDowall 1996).

The Arthurs Paragalaxias has small, open pores on its head but usually none below the lower jaw. The species' gill rakers are moderately long and slender.

The Arthurs Paragalaxias is a boldly coloured fish. It is a greenish grey on its back. This colouration spreads down on its sides as irregular bands that become fragmented into isolated patches. It has a pale grey to olive-gold colouration on its trunk and its belly is silvery grey. The fins are amber in colour with darker colouration along the rays (McDowall 1996).

Arthurs Paragalaxias is endemic to Tasmania and is known from Arthurs Lake and Woods Lake in the eastern part of the Central Plateau (McDowall 1996, Pogonoski 2004). Prior to 2002, Arthurs Paragalaxias had not been collected from Woods Lake despite several years of intensive sampling (Jackson 2004). In August and November 2002, 174 individuals collected from Arthurs Lake were released into Woods Lake to try and re-establish the population (Jackson 2004).

The extent of occurrence for the Arthurs Paragalaxias was estimated at 180km², but following its apparent disappearance from Woods Lake, the extent of occurrence is estimated to have declined to approximately 87 km² (Jackson 2004).

Based on the likelihood that the species no longer occurs in Woods Lake, its area of occupancy has declined to approximately 62km², from approximately 75 km² when the Arthurs Paragalaxias was found in both Woods and Arthurs Lakes (Jackson 2004).

There is no quantitative data available regarding the numbers of mature individuals of Arthurs Paragalaxias. The Arthurs Paragalaxias is described by Jackson (2004) as having a small population with limited distribution.

Arthurs Paragalaxias was reintroduced to Woods Lake in late 2002, with 174 individuals collected from Arthurs Lake released at two adjacent rocky sites (Jackson 2004). No details are available on the success of this project.

This species has shown a population decline in the past, but the cause of the decline is unknown (Jackson 2004).

Arthurs Paragalaxias is a lake-bound species that inhabits areas containing aquatic plants, rocks, boulders and areas of marginal vegetation around lake shores (Jackson 2004). It appears to favour still waters (McDowall 1996). This species has been collected in fyke nets (bag-shaped fishing net) at depths of 4-5 m in Arthurs Lake (Hydro Tasmania unpubl. data cited in Jackson 2004) indicating that it probably occurs throughout the lake (Jackson 2004).

The life history of Arthurs Paragalaxias is poorly known, but other paragalaxias lay eggs under rocks in shallow water (Fulton 1982). Most of the population may spawn only once or twice (Jackson 2004).

The diet of Arthurs Paragalaxias consists of a wide range of aquatic organisms, particularly midge and caddis larvae as well as various crustaceans (such as copepods, ostracods and cladocerans) and worms (Fulton 1982; Inland Fisheries Service 2000; McDowall 1996).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification, destruction and alteration due to changes in land use patterns Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005j) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005j) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Salmo trutta (Brown Trout) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005j) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alterations to hydrology through water extraction Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005j) [Listing Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2005j) [Listing Advice].

Crook, D. (1995). Causes of Turbidity in Woods Lake. Inland Fisheries Commission, Hobart.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011i). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened fish. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.4 . [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement. Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from:

Fulton, W. (1990). Tasmanian Freshwater Fishes. Page(s) 80. Uni. Tasmania, Hobart.

Hardie, S.A., J.E. Jackson, L.A. Barmutta & R.W.G. White (2006). Status of galaxiid fishes in Tasmania, Australia: conservation listings, threats and management issues. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 16:235-250.

Hardie, S.A., K.R. Macfarlane & L.A. Barmuta (2011). Life histories of galaxiid fishes in Arthurs Lake and Great Lake, Tasmania, and effects on water level fluctuations on their populations. Hydro Tasmania, Hobart.

Hydro Tasmania (1999). South Esk- Great Lake Hydro Catchment Environmental Review. Report by Hydro Tasmania Environmental Services.

Inland Fisheries Service (2000a). Freshwater Fish Facts Number 8: Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes). [Online]. Available from:

Jackson, J.E. (2004). Tasmanian Galaxiidae Recovery Plan 2004-2008. Inland Fisheries Service, Hobart.

McDowall, R.M. ed (1996). Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia rev. edn. Chatswood, NSW: Reed Books.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2005j). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Arthurs Paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes). [Online]. Available from:

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Paragalaxias mesotes in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 11:30:24 +1000.