Variegated Pygmy Perch

Nannoperca variegata
Variegated Pygmy Perch - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Nannoperca variegata
Other names Ewens Pygmy Perch
Size Up to 6.5 cm (2.55 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Freshwater creeks, streams & ponds in areas of gravel, wood debris & rich in aquatic vegetation
Depth Range 0 - 2 m (6 ft)
Variegated Pygmy Perch Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Variegated Pygmy Perch is a small freshwater fish species found in the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia.
  • They have a slender, cylindrical body with a rounded snout and a small mouth. They have a distinctive coloration, with a greenish-yellow back, silver sides, and a white belly.
  • Variegated Pygmy Perch feed on a range of aquatic invertebrates, including small crustaceans, insects, and mollusks. They are also known to consume algae and plant matter.
  • They prefer slow-moving, shallow water with vegetation cover and sandy or gravelly substrates.
  • The species is primarily active during the day, but they may become more nocturnal in response to predation pressure.
  • The breeding season for Variegated Pygmy Perch is typically between November and February.
  • They are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs that hatch externally, and can produce up to 300 eggs per spawning event. Males typically build a nest using plant matter and defend it against other males during breeding season.
  • The species has a relatively short lifespan, living for only 2-3 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium Fish

Variegated Pygmy Perch can make interesting and attractive aquarium fish due to their small size and unique coloration. However, they are not recommended for beginner hobbyists, as they require specific care requirements to thrive in captivity.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Percichthyidae

Genus: Nannoperca

Species: Nannoperca variegata

Conservation Status

The Variegated Pygmy Perch is listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The species is also classified as a threatened species in New South Wales and Victoria, where it has experienced declines in its populations due to habitat loss and degradation.

Variegated Pygmy Perch
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: No

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons