How to identify a Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon

Wanted - Sightings of this fish!

Listed as endangered in NSW…

Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon have suffered significant declines in NSW due to habitat loss, competition with introduced species and water quality decline.

But you many have seen them…

Growing to 15cm, Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon may be seen in still or slow-moving water bodies such as rivers, creeks and billabongs, among aquatic vegetation, leaf litter, rocks or snags.

You may mistake these for…

Other closely related Gudgeon species, such as Cox's Gudgeon, Dwarf Flat-Headed Gudgeon or Striped Gudgeon.

Above (from left to right): A Cox's Gudgeon, Dwarf Flat-Headed Gudgeon and Striped Gudgeon.

Distinguishing features

Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon are distinguished by:

  1. Rounded head and a small mouth
  2. Three red-maroon bars on cheek
  3. Red spots and a blue wash along the body, which brighten during breeding
  4. Two dorsal fins with yellow margins; the first being shorter and lower than the second
  5. Rounded tail

We need your help!

If you see a Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon, snap a picture and report the sighting. A photo is critical for species identification.

More information