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Douglass F. Hoese
Members of the Eleotridae are found worldwide in freshwater, estuarine and marine environments in tropical and warm temperate regions. Thirty-five genera are recognised with an estimated total number of species around 200. Little revisionary work has been undertaken on eleotrids from most parts of the world and, consequently, the names used here for many tropical genera are tentative. Currently, 18 genera and 42 described species are known from Australia as well as one species of Eleotris of uncertain identity, one undescribed species of Philypnodon and three undescribed species of Hypseleotris.
Gudgeons are small to medium sized, ranging from 2 to 50 cm. Most species occur in freshwater or estuarine environments (typically associated with mangroves). A few small-sized species occur on rocky or coral reef environments (Calumia and Thalasseleotris).
The group has been recognised as a distinct family for several years. Hoese (1984) noted that the separation of the pelvic fins, which had been the main character used to separate eleotrids from the gobiids, did not adequately separate coral reef species. Hoese & Gill (1993) who recognised a smaller group as a distinct subfamily, the Eleotridinae, were unable to resolve relationships of the more primitive subfamily Butinae and placed both subfamilies in the family Gobiidae. Nelson (1994), however, regarded members of the Eleotridinae and Butinae as distinct from gobiids and warranting a separate family, the Eleotridae.
Hoese & Allen (1983) revised the Western Australian species of Hypseleotris and Allen & Jenkins (1999) dealt with the Australian species of Mogurnda. Larson & Hoese (1980) revised the Indo-west Pacific genus Calumia. Temperate species were treated in Hoese et al. (1980), Hoese & Larson (1994) and McDowall (1996). Larson & Murdy (2001) presented a key to the genera from the western Pacific.
Allen, G.R. & Jenkins, A.P. 1999. A review of the Australian freshwater gudgeons, genus Mogurnda (Eleotridae) with descriptions of three new species. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 3(4): 141-155
Hoese, D.F. 1984. Gobioidei: Relationships. 588-591 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760
Hoese, D.F., Larson, H.K. & Llewellyn, L.C. 1980. Family Eleotridae: gudgeons. pp. 169-185 19 figs in McDowall, R.M. (ed.). Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 208 pp., figs, 32 pls.
Hoese, D.F. & Allen, G.R. 1983. A review of the gudgeon genus Hypseleotris (Pisces : Eleotridae) of Western Australia, with descriptions of three new species. Records of the Western Australian Museum 10(3): 243-261 figs 1-6
Hoese, D.F. & Gill, A. 1993. Phylogenetic relationships of eleotridid fishes (Perciformes: Gobioidei). Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 415-440
Hoese, D.F. & Larson, H.K. 1994. Family Eleotrididae. pp. 810-813, figs 715-717 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.
Larson, H.K. & Hoese, D.F. 1980. The species of the Indo-west Pacific genus Calumia (Pisces : Eleotridae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 104(1): 17-22 figs 1-4
Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 2001. Eleotridae, Gobiidae. pp. 3574-3604 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.
McDowall, R.M. (ed.) 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Sydney : Reed Books 247 pp.
Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.
Common Name References
Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs.  (Gudgeons, Sleepers)
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