General Description

Body slender with two widely separated dorsal fins, pectoral fins positioned high on the body, tail forked. The eyes are large, the mouth tiny and the jaws have large canine teeth. Semi-transparent silver in colour with an olive-green to coppery tinge, a silvery belly and a distinct stripe along the middle of the side. Up to 10 cm.


The Smallmouth Hardyhead can tolerate a wide range of salinities. They are often seen swimming in schools, especially in brackish water. The breeding season is spring and early summer during which males may develop bright orange stripes along their sides. Individuals only live for about a year and die after spawning.


Eastern Australia to the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia and around Tasmania.


Lower reaches of coastal rivers and streams, estuaries, brackish lakes, lagoons and inshore coastal waters. Common amongst seagrass beds.

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