Murdoch University’s fish scientists have discovered a new species of Pygmy Perch in Western Australia.
Drs David Morgan and Stephen Beatty of Murdoch’s Centre for Fish & Fisheries Research said the discovery of a new species of freshwater fish was the first such find in the south-west in over 40 years.
“The discovery was part of a larger project that is funded by the Water Corporation,” Dr Morgan said.
“This is the first such find in south-western Australia in over 40 years, since the enigmatic Salamanderfish was discovered.
“We noticed the differences immediately, and have since found many more and believe that it has gone unnoticed for so many years because of its very restricted distribution.”
The discovery was confirmed in collaboration with geneticists in South Australia, Dr Mark Adams (South Australian Museum) and Dr Michael Hammer (Native Fish Australia).
“In collaboration with Dr Adams and Dr Hammer in SA, we have demonstrated genetic differences, and morphologically they are unique”.
This takes the total number of pygmy perch species to three in WA, out of seven Australia-wide.
Over the next few months the scientists will continue to examine the species in order to name it.
Image courtesy of Dr David Morgan, Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Murdoch University.