PORT PHILLIP BAY


Pouch Lamprey 

Geotria australis Gray, 1851

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Additional information in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
The order Petromyzontiformes is one of two groups of living jawless vertebrates. Lampreys are primitive eel-like cartilaginous fishes that inhabit cool-temperate marine and fresh waters. Two subfamilies live in Australian waters: the Geotriinae or Pouched Lampreys, and the Mordaciinae or Short-headed Lampreys. Lampreys have a sucker-like oral disc or mouth, armed with rows of horny teeth, and a toothy rasping tongue. They have one or two dorsal fins and 7 pairs of pore-like gill openings pores along the sides. They lack scales and paired fins.

Family level detail.
Primitive eel-like fishes with eyes dorsolaterally on head and a jawless mouth in the form of an oral sucking disc with 'horny' teeth. Sides of head with 7 pore-like gill openings, a single median nostril on top of the head and two small dorsal fins far back on the body.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Petromyzontomorphi
Class:
Petromyzontida
Order:
Petromyzontiformes
Family:
Geotriidae
Genus:
Geotria
Species:
australis

General Description

Long, slender eel-like fishes with two dorsal fins near the tail, 7 pairs of pore-like gill openings, a single median nostril and an oral disc fringed with skin flaps and armed with many small, horny teeth. Adults dark brown to grey; young adults at sea are silver or silvery cobalt blue, with two greenish or blue-green dorsal stripes. To 60 cm.

Biology

These are primitive, migratory jawless fishes spawn eggs in the headwaters of freshwater rivers and streams. After metamorphosis, young adults migrate downstream to estuaries and coastal waters, where they feed parasitically by rasping flesh from other fishes with their toothy tongues. They eventually cease feeding and migrate back to freshwaters to breed.

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Lampreys

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

60 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Pouch Lamprey, Geotria australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6584

Text: creative commons cc by licence