I've never tried galaxia - I'd like to, but they seem to be
unobtainable by the average backyarder. Are there any commercial
sources? It'd be nice to hear from someone who has had experience
On 19/08/2014 12:57 PM, Peter Ormay
would you recommend for controlling mosquitos in back yard
frog ponds? Would the local galaxid be suitable?
Daryl King [m("aapt.net.au","darylking");">]
Sent: Tuesday, 19 August 2014 11:50 AM
To: Peter Ormay; 'Con Boekel'; 'COG list'
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Mosquitofish eat
Very important advice. I suggest that the White Cloud
Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes), once
established and breeding, should be viewed in the same light
(see attached). I notice that they are no longer promoted as
"frog-friendly" because of their ability to naturalise in
Australia. They should be of particular concern in the ACT
region because they are upper-reaches specialists.
On 19/08/2014 10:38 AM, Peter Ormay
also eat tadpoles i e if you have Mosquitofish you won’t
have any tadpoles maturing to froglets.
Con Boekel [m("boekel.com.au","con");">]
Sent: Friday, 15 August 2014 6:39 PM
To: COG list
Subject: [canberrabirds] Our Azure Kingfisher's
prey identified - and a very discursive ramble through
some byways of anecdotal knowledge relating thereto
One of the
things that I used to think was that maybe Azure Kingfishers
could not survive in the ACT in winter because there are no
small fish near the surface in winter. (OTOH, maybe the AKs
are just sensible...) But I don't know how deep AKs can
Anyway, the shallow water species I see most often in the
ACT is the introduced Mosquitofish Gambusia sp.
Redfin predate them voraciously (I have seen Mosquito fish
jump out of the water onto the shore in their desperate
attempts to get away from Redfin). So Mosquitofish are not
found in open water but near water vegetation, in the
shallows and/or near the banks.
When the water is warm Mosquitofish are to be found in large
schools very close to the surface. When the water is cold,
they tend to stay near the lake/stream bed. Typically, I do
not see them at all in Winter.
I should say that I did see the Azure Kingfisher yesterday,
and the day before, thanks be to Steven and Lyndon who good
naturedly ignored the fact that when they first spotted me I
was lurking in the vicinity of some Angus cows.
One of the snaps I took shows the Azure Kingfisher with a
fish that it had caught. While the details of the fish are a
bit patchy, one detail does stand out, as it were: it has an
gonopodium. As far as I am aware, the only species of fish
with a gonopodium in the ACT is the Mosquito fish, Gambusia
sp. The female is much larger than the male and has a
bluish spot near the vent, perhaps to assist the male line
up his gonopodium.
On the day on which I took the snap there had been ice
riming the edges of Our ACT Kingfisher's Molongolo
Backwater. So the water was cold. The water in which the
Kingfisher was fishing looked to be less than about a metre
Quite by coincidence, I saw Mosquito fish at or near the
surface today for the first time this year, so the rime, and
the ACT's run of morning minuses, did not keep that
particular school from moving about. Perhaps they were
motivated by some Redfin.
There is some speculation to be had here... how deep can AKs
dive? Was this AK able to survive off Mosquito fish by
diving to near the bed, rather than fishing from the
surface? And, if AKs can survive off Mosquito fish by
catching near the bed of shallows in winter, as well as from
the surface in summer, and since there are many, many
mosquito fish in the ACT, why aren't AKs here all year in
Mosquitofish must be the kissing cousins of Cane Toads. They
were introduced to control mosquitoes, which they don't do
very well, and they are themselves voracious predators on
smaller native fish being, IMHO, a significant threatening
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