What Types Of Fish Are Native To Alice Springs, Australia?

The hot, arid climate of Alice Springs is not for the faint heart. In summer, it gets really hot, where 40°C is considered a non-average temperature. Considering that Alice Springs is part of the Northern Territory consisting of different deserts, its temperature is not a surprise.

What types of fish are native to Alice Springs, Australia? Among the native fish in Alice Springs, Australia are Finke Goby, Finke River Hardyhead, and Desert Mogurnda. These are only some of the fish species that you can find in the place.

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Learn the characteristics of the native fish in Alice Springs, Australia below. You may also determine how you can spot them under the said body of water.

Finke Goby

One of the fishes native to MacDonnell Ranges, the Finke Goby, is characterized by its small size (grows up to 5.5 centimeters long) and a bright blue spot on its front fin. Unlike most fishes, Finke Gobies do not have swim bladders to help them float.

Because of that, these greyish desert fishes spend most of their time resting on the sandy or gravelly river bed and coming out at night to feed on insect larvae, small crustaceans, and algae.

They are found in what most people believe to be the oldest river (at least over 300 million years old) in the world: the Finke River system of the MacDonnell Ranges. Finke Gobies only live in the upper reaches of the Finke River, in waterholes west of Alice Springs.

They are common in MacDonnell Ranges despite its limited distribution, so expect to find a Finke Goby or ten while you are staying there.

Finke River Hardyhead

Like Finke Goby, the Finke River Hardyhead is found in MacDonnell Ranges. It grows up to 7.5 centimeters long and is distinguished by its slender silvery to golden hardyhead becoming paler below, with a faint greenish-gold stripe, and dark-edged scales on the upper sides. They are known for their wide tolerance to temperature and salinity.

Finke River Hardyheads are omnivores. They reside in open water or around aquatic vegetation in waterholes where they can feed on small crustaceans.

Aside from that, they may also feed on insects, gastropods, polychaete worms, algae, and fish eggs. If you are hoping to find Finke River Hardyheads, go to Finke River during warmer months as they are most likely to spawn during those times.

Desert Mogurnda

The Desert Mogurnda is a fish species in the family of Eleotridae. It is native to the Finke River and nowhere else. Desert Mogurndas often congregate in rocky pools of waterholes. Being the largest among the native Alice Springs fishes, it can grow up to 13 centimeters in length.

Adult Desert Mogurndas are bluish, and their body is covered with small red spots and lighter molting. Nothing much is known about Desert Mogurndas other than those.


To summarize, if you are looking to experience the desert, Alice Springs is the place you should go. It is considered as one of the most remote areas in Australia, so do not expect to find some advanced technology there.

Not only does Alice Springs offer its native fishes, but it also has landscape and wildlife that are breathtaking. If you are camping in MacDonnell Ranges, do not forget to clean your mess and preserve the surroundings.