Macquaria australasica Cuvier, 1830, Macquarie River at Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Black bream, Macquarie perch; German: Macquaries Barsch, Silberauge.
Standard length 17 in (43 cm); maximum weight 7.7 lb (3.5 kg). Base color is dark gray, silvery gray, or olive-brown, and may be mottled; the belly is often pale or light gray, and the scale margins are dark gray. Body is compressed and elongate, the dorsal profile of the head concave, the nape arched, the body deep, the eyes and jaws both large; large mucous cavities are found around the eyes and also on the preoperculum. The dorsal fin has 8–10 spines and 11–14 soft rays; the anal fin has three spines and 8–11 soft rays; there are 14–17 pectoral fin soft rays.
Middle and upper reaches of Murray River system in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Also known from the Yarra River system in Victoria. Introduced elsewhere. A genetically distinct population occurs in the Shoalhaven and Hawkesbury Rivers of New South Wales that may comprise a separate species.
Frequents deep holes on the bottom, but will move up into midwater in streams or reservoirs.
Adults are solitary but form aggregations inshore and when migrating.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Forages for aquatic insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. Post-larvae feed on zooplankton.
Males mature in two years, females in three. Females larger than males. Forms small aggregations that migrate upstream to spawn. Spawning takes place between October and December. Courtship occurs over rocky or gravel bottoms above riffle stretches and demersal eggs are released to scatter onto the bottom; eggs usually slip between interstices of substrate. Eggs hatch in 13–18 days. No parental care.
Classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN. Likely vulnerable to
destruction and losses from introduced parasites.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Primarily a game fish, but also a minor component of commercial and aquarium fisheries.
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