Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Life history, food and habitat of southern pygmy perch, Nannoperca australis, in the Macquarie River, Tasmania

P Humphries

Marine and Freshwater Research 46(8) 1159 - 1169
Published: 1995


The reproductive biology, age, growth, food and habitat of Nannoperca australis are described from samples collected from fringing macrophyte beds of the Macquarie River, Tasmania. Comparisons are made with the same species at Narrandera in New South Wales and other nannopercids, mainly in south-western Australia. Nannoperca australis spawned at the end of its first year, predominantly between October and December, inclusive. The peak mean gonadosomatic index of males occurred in August at 8.0 and that of females two months later at 11.5. The largest oocytes, of running-ripe females collected in October and December, were 1.15 mm in diameter. Fecundities ranged from 78 for a 1-year-old 37-mm fish to 679 for a 2-year-old 63-mm fish. Spawning is presumed to occur in the macrophyte habitat, since adults did not emigrate from these areas at this time. Otoliths and length-frequency histograms indicated that populations were dominated by 0+ fish. Amphipods and ostracods predominated in the guts of N. australis and prey items were mostly either benthic invertebrates or plant epifauna. Plankton was consumed by small fish in greater quantities than by larger fish, whereas the opposite was true for benthic and epifaunal prey. Fish were virtually always associated with aquatic macrophytes and almost always with shallow, still water.

© CSIRO 1995

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