Orokonui Ecosanctuary/Waterways

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  • Named from the galaxy like patterns on their sides

Migratory Galaxids

Also known as whitebait which are the juveniles of five species of fish:

  1. Giant kokopu
  2. Banded kokopu
  3. Inanga
  4. Koaro
  5. Shortjaw kokopu (not found in Orokonui stream)
  • Nocturnal - good at hiding during the day
  • Prefer bushy streams - shelter and food, insects falling from the overhanging plants
  • Breeding - mainly autumn
  • Inanga migrate downstream to estuaries and lay their eggs among plants and grasses
  • Kōaro and kōkopu stay where they are and lay their eggs on leaf litter and forest plants
  • Eggs stay out of water for several weeks under plant cover to keep moist
    • Hatch when re-immersed, either by spring tides (for inanga) or floods (for kōaro and kōkopu)
      • Larvae float out to sea where they live and grow, migrating back upstream as whitebait in spring

Non-migratory Galaxids

Belong to an ancient, scaleless fish family called Galaxiidae
  • Named for the galaxy-like gold flecks and patterns on their backs
  • Some non-migratory galaxiid species live out their entire life in the stream or river in which they hatched
  • Over millions of years these populations of galaxiids became isolated by geological events such as earthquakes and glacial movement
    • Evolving into distinct species
  1. Alpine galaxias
  2. Bignose galaxias
  3. Canterbury galaxias
  4. Central Otago roundhead galaxias
  5. Dusky galaxias
  6. Dwarf galaxias (West Coast)
  7. Dwarf inanga (North Kaipara Head dune lakes)
  8. Eldon’s galaxias
  9. Gollum galaxias
  10. Lowland longjaw galaxias (Kakanui River)
  11. Taieri flathead galaxias
  12. Upland longjaw galaxias (Canterbury, West Coast)
  13. Upland longjaw galaxias (Waitaki River)
  • There are a further group of at least 10 recognised indeterminate non-migratory galaxiids