Gertrudae Tetra (Pseudomugil gertrudae)

Gertrudae Tetra

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Distribution Gertrudae Tetra (Pseudomugil gertrudae)

Described from ‘Rivulet in sago forest at Ngaiguli, Terangan, Aru Island, Aru Islands, Maluku, Indonesia’, corresponding to the island now normally referred to as ‘Trangan’ in the Aru Islands group, eastern Indonesia.

The islands are located in the Arafura Sea, with western New Guinea to the north and the Arnhem Land Region of Australia’s Northern Territory to the south, and though they lie within Maluku province of eastern Indonesia, are part of the Australian continent in a geological sense.

Populations are now known from numerous rivers draining into the Timor Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia, with a range extending eastwards from the city of Darwin through the Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, and Carpentaria as far the Cape York Peninsula.

It’s also known from the islands of Bathurst, Melville, and Groot Eylandt, plus some smaller islands in the Torres Strait.

Known localities in the Northern Territory include the rivers Moyle, Daly, Finniss, Adelaide, Alligator, Blyth, Liverpool, Cadell, Buckingham, Cato, and some smaller drainages around Darwin.

In Queensland it’s been recorded in the Wenlock, Embley, Dulhunty, Coen, Jardine, Olive, Jacky Jacky, Mciver, Endeavour, Barron, Mulgrave, Russell, Johnstone, Moresby, Tully and Murray watersheds, plus some nutrient-poor coastal lakes in the Flattery Point and around Shelburne Bay.

In Papua New Guinea records exist from the Bensbach, Pahoturi, and Fly (Elevala River and Lake Bosset, aka Lake Herbert Hoover) river systems but it may be more widely-distributed in southern drainages of the country and neighbouring state of Papua, Indonesia.

Wild examples are uncommon in the aquarium hobby with the majority of those traded bred commercially for the purpose, though some populations are available and usually labelled with collection details in order to discourage hybridisation, e.g., ‘Aru II’, ‘Aru IV’, ‘Cadell River’, etc.

Habitat Gertrudae Tetra (Pseudomugil gertrudae)

Shows a preference for shallow, marginal zones of heavily-vegetated, slow-moving or standing waters of creeks, small streams, lakes, billabongs, and swamps, and is often found among macrophytes, submerged woody structures such as fallen branches or tree roots, or leaf litter.

At some localities the water is stained dark brown with tannins and has very low pH and dissolved nutrients, while at others it may be transparent.

In both cases the most favourable habitats feature surface vegetation of some kind, either floating or growing up from the substrate.

Tappin (2010) gives the following ranges of parameters based on those taken from various localities: temperature 12 – 34 °C, pH 3.68-9.4, conductivity 12 – 646 µS/cm, hardness 0-320 ppm, alkalinity 2-180 ppm.

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