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Honey Blue Eye (Pseudomugil mellis) 

 

Distribution
Endemic to southeastern Queensland, Australia. Found in the upper reaches of Water Park Creek, coastal streams from southeast of Maryborough to north of Caboolture, and Fraser Island. Prefers slow-flowing, tannin-stained freshwater creeks and coastal dune lakes with sandy or muddy bottoms. Often seen among aquatic vegetation along grassy banks.

 

Features

  • Fins: Dorsal fin IV-VI1; 6-9; Anal fin 10-13; Pectoral fin 9-12; Pelvic fin 5; Caudal fin 13-14; Gill rakers 10-13; Vertebrae 28-31
  • Body: Elongate, laterally compressed; greatest body depth 19.2-29.4% SL
  • Mouth: Small with a protractile maxillary; jaw teeth conical to villiform
  • Teeth: Vomer and palatines toothless
  • Eye: Relatively large; small pores on head, none on mandibular
  • Scales: Large, cycloid with well-developed radii; cheek scales 3-4; vertical scale rows 26-29; horizontal scale rows 5-6; predorsal scales 8-12
  • Fins Configuration: Two separate dorsal fins; first dorsal fin before tip of pectoral about midway along body; second dorsal fin behind anal fin origin; anal fin under end or just behind first dorsal; dorsal and anal fins without rigid spines; short, pointed pectoral fins set horizontally; caudal fin forked with rounded tips
  • Mature Males: Elongate anterior dorsal, anal, and ventral fin rays

 

Size
Up to 3.5 cm SL.

 

Colour

  • Males: Honey or bronze-colored with blue eye and fine grainy melanophores on the head. First dorsal fin mainly black with white anterior border; anal and second dorsal fins honey-colored with black submarginal band and white border.
  • Females: Plain amber color with clear fins.
  • Juveniles: Greyish.

 

Feeding
Primarily consumes micro-crustaceans and insect larvae.

 

Biology
Breeds opportunistically throughout the year. Males display to females by intensifying their colors and erecting ornate fins. Breeding episodes last several days with females depositing 4-10 adhesive eggs per day among aquatic vegetation. Larvae hatch in 2-3 weeks.

 

Fisheries
A popular aquarium species.

 

Conservation

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • EPBC Act: Vulnerable

 

Remarks
Males are more brightly colored and have more elongated dorsal fins than females. The species has seen a rapid decline in numbers, potentially due to habitat removal for housing developments.

 

Similar Species
Differs from the Pacific Blue Eye (Pseudomugil signifer) by having smaller scales on the nape, smaller cephalic sensory pores, and males' dorsal, anal, and caudal fins with a broad black submarginal band and a narrow white margin (vs. yellowish fins with a black margin).

 

Etymology
The specific name "mellis" is from the Latin word for honey, referring to the body color of this species.

 

Species Citation
Pseudomugil mellis Allen & Ivantsoff, 1982, Rev. Fr. Aquariol. 9(3): 83. Type locality: Marsh near Peregian Beach, about 10 km south of Noosa Head, Queensland, Australia, about 26°29'S, 153°05'E.

Honey Blue Eye (Pseudomugil mellis)

AU$28.00 Regular Price
AU$25.20Sale Price

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