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Neoceratodus forsteri  (Krefft, 1870)

Australian lungfish
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Neoceratodus forsteri
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes) > Ceratodontiformes (Australian lungfishes) > Neoceratodontidae (Australian lungfish)
Etymology: Neoceratodus: Greek, neos = new + Greek, keras = horn + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 2060); 24°S - 26°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 83.4, range 81 - ? cm
Max length : 170 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26188); common length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5259); max. published weight: 40.0 kg (Ref. 5259)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 0. Body stout and elongate. Dorsal fin originating on the middle of the back, confluent with caudal and anal fins. Body covered with large, bony, overlapping scales. The head is flattened, with conical profile. The eyes are small; the mouth is reaching about half the distance to eye. The pectoral fins are large and flipper-like in ventral position just behind the head; the pelvic fins are also flipper-like, situated far back on the body.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Oceania: southern Queensland, Australia in Burnett and Mary River systems. Introduced successfully in southeastern Queensland. International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.7.1975).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits mud, sand or gravel bottoms (Ref. 44894). Sluggish species that prefers still or slow-flowing waters, usually in deep pools. During period of drought, it can tolerate stagnant conditions by breathing air, surfacing 1-2 times per hour; however, it lacks the ability to survive dry spells by aestivation; it is a facultative air-breather that will die if forced to depend on air breathing (Ref. 36739, 44894). The sound of the lungfish exhaling air at the surface prior to inhaling a fresh breath has been likened to that made by a small bellows. Nocturnally active (Ref. 44894). Feeds on frogs, tadpoles, fishes, shrimp, earthworms, snails, aquatic plants and native fruits fallen from trees overhanging the creeks (Ref. 36739, 44894). It browses among the detritus, using its electroreceptors to pick up hidden mollusks, worms or crustaceans. Protected by law. Fossil records show that this species remained virtually unchanged for over 380 million years. The Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco had a specimen of 1 m length, 20 kg weight, and more than 65 years of age. In 1933, an Australian lungfish was transported as a fully mature male (10 yrs. old at maturity) to the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago (C. Skonieczny, pers. comm. 11/08, e-mail: CSkonieczny@sheddaquarium.org).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Allen, G.R., 1989. Freshwater fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey. (Ref. 5259)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 2.0039   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.54 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (K=0.11; tmax >30; tm approx. 15-20 yrs.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (72 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.