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Australian Wildlife

  Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)





Australian Lungfish | Neoceratodus forsteri photo
Lungfish photographed at the Underwater World aquarium, Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Australian Lungfish | Neoceratodus forsteri photo
Lungfish photographed at the Underwater World aquarium, Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.



AUSTRALIAN LUNGFISH FACTS

Description
Lungfish are primitive fish that can breathe air using their single lung. The Australian Lungfish is a long, heavy-bodied freshwater fish that looks a bit like a fat eel. It has five pairs of gills and flipper shaped fins. Adult Lungfish are olive-green or grey-brown above, and yellow-orange below, with some whitish colour on the belly. They have large, overlapping scales and a small mouth with large teeth. Juveniles are dark olive, brown or yellow with a mottled pattern above and a dull pink belly. As well as breathing using the gills it can breathe air using its single lung. It usually uses its gills, but surfaces to breathe when it is active and requires more oxygen.

Other Names
Queensland Lungfish

Size
grows to around 2 m, but usually about 1.3 m. Can weight up to 48kg, but 5kg - 10kg is more usual.

Habitat
The Australian Lungfish lives in still or slow-flowing, shallow, vegetated pools

Food
Adult Lungfish eat both animal and plant matter on the bottom of the river. They eat frogs, tadpoles, fishes, shrimps, prawns, earthworms, aquatic snails, molluscs, moss, fallen flowers and aquatic plants.

Breeding
In still water, Lungfish prefer to spawn where the river bed is sandy, in water that is very shallow (less than 100mm deep). In flowing water, which contains more oxygen, Lungfish eggs may be found in depths of more than a metre. There are about 50 - 100 eggs in a clutch. The eggs are around 3 mm in diameter, with an adhesive jelly coating around 1 cm wide. The eggs are dispersed in the water and adhere to the surfaces of submerged plants.

Range
The Australian Lungfish is restricted to south-eastern Queensland and is found in the Burnett River, the Mary River, the North Pine River, Lake Samsonvale, the Brisbane River, Lake Wivenhoe, Enoggera Reservoir



Classification
Class:Sarcopterygii
Order:Ceratodontiformes
Family:Ceratodontidae
Genus:Neoceratodus
Species:forsteri
Common Name:Australian Lungfish