Bidyanus welchi (McCulloch & Waite 1917)
Welch's grunter


image 42KK jpeg 350mm (14in) TL fish from the Thompson River, Longreach, Queensland. Peter Unmack photo.


To at least 350mm (14in) TL.

Conservation Status

Not listed.

Distribution & Abundance

Welch's grunter is widespread and often abundant in the larger rivers in the Lake Eyre and Bulloo-Bancannia Drainage Divisions.

Habitat & Ecology

They are considered to be carnivorous (Merrick & Schmida 1984).


Spawning appears to be associated with flooding and temperature. Males under 240mm (9.6in) are immature. Females 280mm (11.2in) produce 100,000 pelagic eggs. Like golden perch, this species is one of few freshwater fish in the world which produce fully pelagic eggs. Most information on the breeding biology of Welch's grunter is only known from laboratory studies (Merrick & Schmida 1984).


This is a major central Australian angling species which makes it prone to illegal fishing, thus large numbers may be caught and removed threatening the species when waterholes are getting scarce (drying up).

Conservation Action

Not relevant.

Conservation Recommendations

Undertake basic biological and ecological studies.

Important References

Merrick, J. R. & Midgley, S. H. 1981. Reproduction and development in the freshwater grunters Therapon fuliginosus and T. welchi (Theraponidae: Teleostei). Australian Society for Limnology Newsletter. 13(3): 19-20.

Merrick, J. R. & Schmida, G. E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes: Biology and Management. Griffith Press Ltd. 409pp.

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The Australian desert fishes pages are compiled and maintained by Peter J. Unmack
Many thanks to Karen Randall for her excellent drawing of a desert goby that is
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This file was last modified:  18 March 2003