Deep Hardyhead

Craterocephalus cuneiceps
Deep Hardyhead - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Craterocephalus cuneiceps
Other names Deep Freshwater Hardyhead, Murchison River Hardyhead
Size Up to 8.5 cm (3.34 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Freshwater streams, creeks & rivers in small pools & river beds
Depth Range 0 - 5 m (16 ft)
Deep Hardyhead Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Deep Hardyhead is a species of freshwater fish found in Western Australia. They are commonly found in the Murchison River system.
  • The species is characterised by its elongated body shape, flattened head, and upturned mouth. The fish has a silver-grey coloration on its body, with a darker back and lighter underside.
  • The species is known to be resilient to changing environmental conditions, which has helped it to survive in habitats affected by drought and climate change.
  • They are an omnivore, feeding on a variety of small insects, crustaceans, and algae.
  • The species is known to breed year-round, with peak breeding occurring during the warmer months of the year. Females are capable of producing multiple clutches of eggs throughout their lifespan, with each clutch containing around 20-30 eggs.
  • The Deep Hardyhead has a unique spawning behaviour where the eggs are laid in submerged vegetation and then covered with small pebbles to protect them from predators.
  • Their lifespan is estimated to be around 2 years.
Species Interaction


Deep Hardyheads are not commonly kept as an aquarium fish and are not widely available in the pet trade. Though they are sometimes kept by experienced aquarium hobbyists, as they require specialised care and a suitable habitat that mimics their natural environment.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Atheriniformes

Family: Atherinidae

Genus: Craterocephalus

Species: Craterocephalus cuneiceps

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Deep Hardyhead, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is currently listed as “Least Concern”. This means that the species is not considered to be facing any immediate threats to its survival, and its population is believed to be stable.

Deep Hardyhead
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: No

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

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