Illustrations by students from Richmond Primary School
Water Birds | Parrots | Other Birds

Short finned Eel by farrah-lisa abdullah

Short-finned eel

Anguilla australis

Males up to 60cm (2'6") long, females up to 1 m (40")

Breed in the Coral Sea, off northern Queensland (Australia) and travel back to S. E. Australia.

Native to the Yarra River. Active at night; Food includes insects, yabbies, fish and frogs. If the ground is wet, eels can travel overland - which allowed them to travel above Dight's Falls.

Eels were an important food source for Victorian Indigenous peoples. More

Illustration by farrah-lisa abdullah


Myxzus elongatus

Family: Mugilidae

General characteristics:
A long body with broad, flattened head, small mouth and no lateral line. Two well-separated dorsal fins, the first spiny, the second soft. The pelvic fins are located in the mid-belly area.

Small mouth. Large scales; cheeks with 5 rows of scales. Colour is dark olive-green above; silvery below, shading to white on the belly. Fins are dusky with white margins. Yellow eye with iridescent hues. Prominent black spot at the base of the pectoral fin.

Lives in shallow sandy flats near river mouths, and ocean beaches. Estuaries along the Victorian coast; common in some waters.

Grows to 38 cm, but commonly less than 30 cm in Victoria. Spawning probably occurs near mouths of estuaries. Juvenile fish often enter fresh water, but mature fish are rarely seen in fresh water. Commonly seen in brackish water.

More about Mullets by Charles Barnham PSM April, 1998

Illustration by Camille Fiona Cargill

Sand Mullet by Camille Fiona Cargill

Water Rat by Chloe Pierce


Hydromys chrysogaster

Dubbed Rakali (its Aboriginal name) or, unofficially, the Australian otter, little has been known about this whiskery-nosed, web-footed creature with the distinctive white-tipped tail.

However, a new report compiled by the Australian Platypus Conservancy for Melbourne Water details where Australian water rats live and how we can support their habitat. Australian Platypus Conservancy biologist Geoff Williams said that knowing more about water rats was essential to their long-term survival in metropolitan Melbourne.

The report found water rats were widespread in most Melbourne waterways. However, their numbers appeared to be low in some creeks, especially in the Dandenong Valley where revegetation works were needed to protect streamside areas to allow water rats to burrow, forage and find refuge.

Although water rats are part of the rodent family, they look and behave like otters.

Weighing up to 1.5 kilograms, they are aggressive predators, eating fish, yabbies, insects, and sometimes even waterbirds.

More about Rakali

Illustration by Chloe Pierce


Limnodynastes dumerilli

Adults frequent all habitats with the exception of rainforest and extremely arid zones. Eggs are laid in white frothy rafts and tadpoles inhabit still water in swamps, streams, dams and lakes.

The call is a short musical, explosive note producing a resonant "bonk" repeated every few seconds. Some individuals from eastern populations can produce a rapid series of "bonk bonk bonk bonk" lasting about one second.

Pobblebonk frog call (559kb - 26 secs) (courtesy Prof. Murray Littlejohn)
(202kb - 9 secs)

Up to 4000 pigmented eggs are enclosed in a large white frothy floating foam raft usually concealed in aquatic vegetation.

More about the Pobblebonk frog

Illustration by Farrah-Lisa Abdullah

Pobblebonk Frog by Farrah-Lisa Abdullah

Southern Bream by Louisa Kitchin


Acanthopagrus butcheri
Other Name/s: Southern Black Bream, Southern Bream

Family: Sparidae
Robust, deep body. Single dorsal fin. Sharply rounded snout, moderate sized mouth which reaches back to level with the rear of the eye. Moderate sized eye situated high on the side of the head. Upper jaw is longer than the lower jaw, both jaws have well developed teeth. Large scales on the body. Prominent lateral line. Gold-brown to bronze, with greenish iridescence on the back and sides. Head is darker, often brown-blue to brown-purple. Underside, including chin, is usually creamy white. Fins are dusky brown.

Common in all coastal drainages. Strictly an estuarine and freshwater fish, rarely found in the sea. Occurs in a variety of habitats: in estuaries over sand-gravel bottoms, soft mud flats and in weedy areas, the lower reaches of large rivers, and in coastal lakes.

Can reach 60 cm and 4 kg, although commonly smaller. Black bream become sexually mature at 3-4 years of age.

Spawning season is between August and January, occurring first in eastern Victoria then progressively to the west. Salinities of 11,000 to 18,000 p.p.m. required for spawning to occur. Mature females can produce between 1-3 million eggs which are very small and hatch in about 2 days. Omnivorous, feeding on shellfish, worms, crustaceans, small fish and plant material including algae.

Freshwater Fish of Victoria - Black Bream FN0058 Charles Barnham PSM April, 1998

Illustration by Louisa Kitchin

Bottle Nosed Dolphins

Dolphins in the Yarra article in the Sydney Morning Herald

"Dolphins in the Yarra" article in the Sydney Morning Herald

Richmond Primary School

Artwork by students of Richmond Primary School, Year 6, 2005

Water Birds | Parrots | Other Birds


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