Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory



<I>Butis butis</I>

Butis butis

<I>Hypseleotris klunzingeri</I>, Firzroy River, Queensland

Hypseleotris klunzingeri, Firzroy River, Queensland

<I>Philypnodon macrostomus</I>

Philypnodon macrostomus

<I>Prionobutis microps</I>, Western Australia

Prionobutis microps, Western Australia


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CAAB: 37429000


Gudgeons, Sleepers

Compiler and date details

24 September 2018 - Douglass F. Hoese & Matthew M. Lockett

8 April 2015 - Douglass F. Hoese & Matthew M. Lockett


Members of the Eleotridae are found worldwide in freshwater, estuarine and marine environments in tropical and warm temperate regions. Thirty-five genera are recognised with an estimated total number of species around 200. Little revisionary work has been undertaken on eleotrids from most parts of the world and, consequently, the names used here for many tropical genera are tentative. Currently, 17 genera and 42 described species are known from Australia as well as one species of Eleotris of uncertain identity, and several undescribed species of Hypseleotris.

Gudgeons are small to medium sized, ranging from 2 to 50 cm. Most species occur in freshwater or estuarine environments (typically associated with mangroves). A few small-sized species occur on rocky or coral reef environments (Calumia).

The group has been recognised as a distinct family for several years. Hoese (1984) noted that the separation of the pelvic fins, which had been the main character used to separate eleotrids from the gobiids, did not adequately separate coral reef species. Hoese & Gill (1993) who recognised a smaller group as a distinct subfamily, the Eleotridinae, were unable to resolve relationships of the more primitive subfamily Butinae and placed both subfamilies in the family Gobiidae. Nelson (1994), however, regarded members of the Eleotridinae and Butinae as distinct from gobiids and warranting a separate family, the Eleotridae. More recently authors have separated the two subfamilies into distinct families (Thacker 2009, Agorreta et al. (2013). Some workers have suggested that Milyeringa belongs in the Odontobutidae (see Thacker 2009) or in the family Milyeringidae (see Chakrabarty 2010, Chakrabarty et al. 2012). We retain it here in the Eleotridae following Larson et al. (2013). Gill & Mooi (2012) placed Thalasseleotris in a separate family the Thalasseleotrididae. Relationships and biology of the group are discussed in Patzner et al. (2011).

Hoese & Allen (1983) revised the Western Australian species of Hypseleotris. Bertozzi et al. (2000) discussed complex genetic variation in Hypseleotris from south-eastern Australia. Allen & Jenkins (1999) dealt with the Australian species of Mogurnda. Adams et al ((2013) discussed genetic variation in Mogurnda, possibly an indication additional species. Larson & Hoese (1980) revised the Indo-west Pacific genus Calumia. Temperate species were treated in Hoese et al. (1980), Hoese & Larson (1994), Larson & Hoese (1996), Hoese (2008). Larson & Murdy (2001) presented a key to the genera from the western Pacific. Philypnodon was treated by Hoese & Reader (2006).


General References

Adams, M., Page, T.J., Hurwood, D.A & Hughes, J.M. 2013. A molecular assessment of species boundaries and phylogenetic affinities in Mogurnda (Eleotridae): a case study of cryptic biodiversity in the Australian freshwater fishes. Marine and Freshwater Research 64: 920-931

Agorreta, A., San Mauro, D., Schliewen, U., Van Tassell, J.L., Kovačić, M., Zardoya, R. & Rüber, L. 2013. Molecular phylogenetics of Gobioidei and phylogenetic placement of European gobies. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69(3): 619–633

Allen, G.R. & Jenkins, A.P. 1999. A review of the Australian freshwater gudgeons, genus Mogurnda (Eleotridae) with descriptions of three new species. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 3(4): 141-155

Bertozzi, T., Adams, M. & Walker, K.F. 2000. Species boundaries in carp gudgeons (Eleotrididae : Hypseleotris) from the River Murray, South Australia: evidence for multiple species and extensive hybridization. Marine and Freshwater Research 51: 805–815

Chakrabarty, P. 2010. Status and phylogeny of Milyeringidae (Teleostei: Gobiiformes), with the description of a new blind cave-fish from Australia, Milyeringa brooksi, n. sp. Zootaxa 2557: 19-28

Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P. & Sparks, J.S. 2012. The first record of a trans-oceanic sister-group relationship between obligate vertebrate troglobites. PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science) 7(8): 1-8

Gill, A.C. & Mooi, R.D. 2012. Thalasseleotrididae, new family of marine gobioid fishes from New Zealand and temperate Australia, with a revised definition of its sister taxon, the Gobiidae (Teleostei: Acanthomorpha). Zootaxa 3266: 41–52

Hoese, D.F. 1984. Gobioidei: Relationships. pp. 588-591 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760

Hoese, D.F. 2008. Family Eleotridae. pp. 746-748 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Hoese, D.F., Larson, H.K. & Llewellyn, L.C. 1980. Family Eleotridae: gudgeons. pp. 169-185 19 figs in McDowall, R.M. (ed.). Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 208 pp., figs, 32 pls.

Hoese, D.F. & Allen, G.R. 1983. A review of the gudgeon genus Hypseleotris (Pisces : Eleotridae) of Western Australia, with descriptions of three new species. Records of the Western Australian Museum 10(3): 243-261 figs 1-6

Hoese, D.F. & Gill, A. 1993. Phylogenetic relationships of eleotridid fishes (Perciformes: Gobioidei). Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 415-440

Hoese, D.F. & Larson, H.K. 1994. Family Eleotrididae. pp. 810-813, figs 715-717 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Hoese, D.F. & Reader, S. 2006. Description of a new species of dwarf Philypnodon (Teleostei: Gobioidei: Eleotridae) from south-eastern Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1): 16-19

Larson, H.K., Foster, R., Humphreys, W.F. & Stevens, M.I. 2013. A new species of the blind cave gudgeon Milyeringa (Pisces: Gobioidei, Eleotridae) from Barrow Island, Western Australia, with a redescription of M. veritas Whitley. Zootaxa 3616(2): 135-150

Larson, H.K. & Hoese, D.F. 1980. The species of the Indo-west Pacific genus Calumia (Pisces : Eleotridae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 104(1): 17-22 figs 1-4

Larson, H.K. & Hoese, D.F. 1996. Family Gobiidae, subfamilies Eleotridinae and Butinae. pp. 200-219 in McDowall, R.M. (ed.). Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.

Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 2001. Eleotridae, Gobiidae. pp. 3574-3604 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

McDowall, R.M. (ed.) 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.

Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.

Patzner, R.A., Van Tassell, J.L., Kovačić, M. & Kapoor, B.G. (eds) 2011. The Biology of Gobies. Enfield, New Hampshire : Science Publishers 685 pp.

Thacker, C.E. 2009. Phylogeny of Gobioidei and placement within Acanthomorpha, with a new classification and investigation of diversification and character evolution. Copeia 2009(1): 93–104


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
14-May-2015 GOBIOIDEI 13-Apr-2015 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese
12-Feb-2010 (import)