This species is totally protected and may not be taken without a permit.
Small elongated fish that has a single soft-rayed dorsal on their back. There are no scales present, but they do have a lateral line. The dorsal fin origin is slightly behind the anal fin origin.
They are more or less transparent with dark colouration along the back and three black stripes running along their sides. Males have a bright orange stripe between the middle and lower stripe.
Females to 40 mm, males to 34 mm.
Native to north-eastern and north-west Tasmania, Flinders Island and parts of the south-east Australia. The females grow larger than the males. They are capable of surviving for several months in existing burrows or under logs and stones if their water source dries up. Habitat loss from wetland draining is limiting its available habitat.
Spawning occurs around August, when eggs are deposited singly on aquatic plants, stones and leaves. It is believed to live for only one year, with the adults dying after spawning. Their whole life cycle is spent in fresh water.
Adults occur mostly in still or slow moving waters in the shallows around the margins of creeks, drains and swamps that are usually heavily overgrown with aquatic macrophytes. They have been observed to burrow into the mud during unfavourable conditions. Juveniles congregate in groups at the water surface in pools free of vegetation. They are generally active throughout the day.
It is carnivorous, and feeds mainly on small crustaceans from the water column as well as animals off the bottom.
Why is it Threatened?:
Drainage of large areas of swamp and wetlands; Channelisation of rivers and streams; Removal of aquatic and riparian vegetation; Interaction and predation from introduced fish species; Inundation of habitat by dams.
Far north-east coast and the north-west coast.