Mogurnda adspersa facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsMogurnda adspersa
Mogurnda adspersa (commonly known as the southern purple-spotted gudgeon) is a species of endangered gudgeon that is endemic to southeastern Australia. The fish is brown, although the shade becomes lighter near its abdomen. Spots of various colors occur on its sides. After a dramatic population decline in the late 20th century, the fish was thought to be extinct, but it was rediscovered in 2002. The government of Australia is currently taking measures to increase the fish's numbers.
Mogurnda adspersa is countershaded dark brown on top, with its color becoming progressively lighter on the sides and underside, where it is light brown or cream. The fish has three red bars on each cheek, and red, purple, black, and white spots along its sides. These spots are more visible when it is breeding. It is typically 8 cm (3.1 in) long, although it can grow up to 14 cm (5.5 in).
Distribution and habitat
The southern purple-spotted gudgeon is endemic to southeastern Australia, particularly the Murray-Darling basin and coastal drainages northeast of the Clarence River. It is a benthic fish, and is usually found in calm rivers or creeks. It swims among underwater plants, branches, and rocks.
The fish feeds on small fish, plants, and other assorted animals, such as shrimp, worms, tadpoles, insects larvae, and small crustaceans.
During the breeding season, which generally spans from November to March, the female fish lays multiple batches of 30–1,300 eggs. The eggs are laid on underwater objects and plants. After the eggs are laid, the male fish guards the eggs and fans them with his fins. The young fish hatch from the eggs after 3–9 days.
Though common in southeastern Australia, its numbers sharply declined in the 1980s, due to the introduction of predatory fish, lack of food, and changing water levels, which interfered with the fish's breeding. The fish was thought to be extinct, but a small number were found in the lower part of the Murray–Darling basin in 2002. In an effort to increase the fish's abundance, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries instituted a captive-breeding program, in hopes of eventually releasing the more "genetically variable" fish into the wild, where they can reproduce with the remaining wild populations and recover from their previous population decline by "recover[ing] genetic variation".
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