This specimen was collected during William Blandowski's expedition to the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers (December 1856 - December 1857). One of the first fish collected on the expedition, it came from "Gunbower", Gunbower Station, the expedition's first base camp, 16-28 February. The original tag '625' is intact and the fish is listed in the expedition register by its local Koorie name 'Tarrum'.

Blandowski illustrated this species on 27 February 1857 (Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin, B VIII/438), noting the local name 'Tarrum'. In his expedition report for the 'Transactions of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria' in 1858, he described it as Cernua bidyana (recognising it as the same species previously described by the explorer Thomas Mitchell in 1838). Blandowski also included the name 'Bagguck' given by the Yarree Yarree group of Aboriginal people he met at Mondellimin (Merbein, near Mildura), but omitted mentioning the name 'Tarrum' from Gunbower in his account. This part of his report was suppressed from publication during a fish naming scandal later that same year.

Later, Whitley described a new genus Bidyanus with Acerina (Ceruna) bidyana Mitchell 1838 as the type species, so the scientific name of the Silver Perch became Bidyanus bidyanus. The Yarree Yarree people at Mondellimin had used the names 'Bagguck', 'Buruitjall', 'Karpa' and 'Bipe purritjall' for four different adult and juvenile stages, and Blandowski, who relied heavily on Aboriginal knowledge in his research, had mistaken each life stage as a distinct species.

Once one of the most common and widespread fishes in the Murray-Darling Basin, Silver Perch have experienced significant declines in distribution and abundance throughout most of their range and no longer occur in the Central Murray Catchment. They are now listed nationally as Critically Endangered under the EPBC Act 1999, and as Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.


Ichthyology, Fish specimen, Dry skin - one side

Specimen Details


Geospatial Information

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  • Precise Location

    Gunbower area, between Mt Hope and Kow Swamp (as Kew Swamp)

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  • Georeference Source

    Google Earth

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  • Georeference Date


  • Georeference By

    Dianne J. Bray - Museums Victoria