Milyeringa veritas

Whitley 1945

Milyeringa veritas
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Whitley (1945)


Need to add details of Family and Typhleotris + refs

Also Barrow Is. popn.

New cleaner image


Milyeringa brooksi  Chakrabarty 2010




Holotype: WAM P.2913-001, 40.5mm SL. This species is the type species by original designation and monotypy of the cave restricted genus Milyeringa, and the genus is the type genus of the family Milyeringidae.


Type locality: Milyering Well, near Yardie Creek Station, North West Cape, Western Australia (22o01’S, 113o56’E). Details of all other known locations are given in Humphreys (1999a). At four locations this species has been seen at sites from which Ophisternon candidum has also been recorded. The ranges of these two species overlap completely and it appears that both are found throughout the 2 km wide coastal plain fringing the Cape Range of hills (Humphreys and Adams 1991; Adams and Humphreys 1993; Humphreys 1993a; Knott 1993).


Found in both freshwater and anchialine systems from close to the coast up to 4.3 km inland. Seen at karst windows and a depths of up to 33m. Collected from boreholes very remote from any opening to the surface (details from Humphreys 2001). The food of this species (and of Ophisternon candidum) was examined by Humphreys and Feinberg (1995). They found that 79% of the intake was terrestrial fauna in the form of Isopoda, Trichoptera, Hymenoptera and cockroaches. Only 10% maximum intake was from consumption of other cave animals.


Whitley (1945) erected the family Milyeringidae to contain this species because it differed from the Eleotridae by having no eyes and reduced ventral and dorsal fins. Subsequent authors (e.g. Greenwood Rosen, Weizman and Myers 1966; Nelson 1994) have not recognised this family and have placed the species in the Eleotridae. Hoese and Gill (1993) made a thorough study of eleotridid fishes within the family Gobiidae and placed the genus Milyeringa in the subfamily Butinae together with the genus Typhleotris.

Conservation Status

MuG [DD:2.3:1996]

(Wager, R. 1996. Milyeringa veritas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: Downloaded on 05 July 2017).

R (IUCN 1994), DD (IUCN 1996, 2000). Rare (Michaelis 1985). Humphreys and Adams (1991) document an incursion of saline water into the freshwater aquifer which, if real and continuous, will represent a dangerous threat to this and other stygobitic species in the coastal fringe of the Cape Range. This fringe is outside of the Cape Range National Park and therefore does not get the protection offered to sites within it.

Museum Holdings

26 specimens at the Western Australian Museum, Perth (Whittaker and Kritski 1973), AMS I.21336-001 4 specimens 31-43mm SL (Hoese and Gill 1993), AMNH 45497, AMNH 48568 (Humphreys and Feinberg 1995).

Key References

Whitley, G. P. Journal Article 1945 New sharks and fishes from Western Australia. Part 2
Holthuis, L. B. Journal Article 1960 Two new species of Atyid shrimps from subterranean waters of N.W. Australia (Decapoda, Natantia)
Mees, G. F. Journal Article 1962 The subterranean freshwater fauna of Yardie Creek Station, North West Cape, Western Australia
Richards, A. M. Journal Article 1963 The subterranean freshwater fauna of North West Cape, Western Australia
Cawthorn, P. Journal Article 1963 Discovery of subterranean freshwater fauna on the eastern side of North West Cape
Whittaker, F. H. and Kritsky, D. C. Journal Article 1973 An examination of the Australian blind cavefish Milyeringa veritas Whitley, 1945, for helminth parasites
Merrick, J. R. and Schmida, G. E. Book 1984 Australian freshwater fishes: Biology and management
Michaelis, F. Journal Article 1985 Threatened fish. A report on the threatened fish of inland waters of Austalia
Young, M. Journal Article 1986 Bringing the blind gudgeon into captivity
Allen, G. R. Book 1989 Freshwater fishes of Australia
Pollard, D. A., Ingram, B. A., Harris, J. H. and Reynolds, L. F. Journal Article 1990 Threatened fishes in Australia - an overview
Humphreys, W. F. and Adams, M. Journal Article 1991 The subterranean aquatic fauna of the North West Cape peninsula, Western Australia
Allen, G.R. Book 1992 Inland Fishes of Western Australia
Hoese, D.F. and Gill, A.C. Journal Article 1993 Phylogenetic relationships of eleotridid fishes (Perciformes, Gobioidei)
Adams, M. and Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 1993 Patterns of genetic diversity within selected subterranean fauna of the Cape Range penninsula, Western Australia: Systematic and biogeographic implications
Knott, B. Journal Article 1993 Stygofauna of the Cape Range penninsula, Western Australia: Tethyan relicts
Humphreys, W. F. Book 1993 The biogeography of Cape Range, Western Australia
Humphreys, W. F. Journal Article 1993 The significance of the subterranean fauna in biogeographical reconstruction: Examples from Cape Range Peninsula, Western Australia
Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 1994 The subterranean fauna of the Cape Range coastal plane, Northwestern Australia
Humphreys, W. F. and Feinberg, M. N. Journal Article 1995 Food of the blind cave fishes of Northwestern Australia
Yager, J. and Humphreys, W. F. Journal Article 1996 Lasionectes exleyi sp. nov. the first Remipede crustacean recorded from Australia and the Indian Ocean, with a key to the world species
Humphreys, W. F. Book Section 1997 Protection of arid karstlands on the Cape Range Penninsula, Western Australia
Humphreys, W. F. Journal Article 1999 The distribution of Australian cave fishes
Humphreys, W. F. Book Section 2000 Background and glossary
Romero, A. and Vanselow, P.B.S. Journal Article 2000 Threatened fishes of the world: Milyeringa veritas Whitley, 1945 (Eleotridae)
Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 2001 Milyeringa veritas (Eleotridae), a remarkably versatile cave fish from the arid tropics of northwestern Australia
Jaume, D., Boxshall, G.A. and Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 2001 New stygobiont copepods (Calanoida; Misophrioida) from Bundera sinkhole, an anchialine cenote on north-western Australia
Humphreys, WF Journal Article 2001 The subterranean fauna of Barrow Island, northwestern Australia, and its environment
Moore, B. P., Humphreys, W. F., Decu, V. and Juberthie, C. Book Section 2001 Australie
Thacker, C.E. and Hardman, M. Journal Article 2005 Molecular phylogeny of basal gobiod fishes: Rhyacichthyidae, Odontobutidae, Xenisthmidae, Eleotridae (Teleostei: Perciformes: Gobioidei)
Humphreys, W.F., Shiao, J.-C., Iizuka, Y. and Tzeng, W.-N. Journal Article 2006 Can otolith microchemistry reveal whether the blind cave gudgeon, Milyeringa veritas (Eleotridae), is diadromous within a subterranean estuary?
Seymour, J.R., Humphreys, W.F. and Mitchell, J.G. Journal Article 2007 Stratification of the microbial community inhabiting an anchialine sinkhole.
Page, T.J., Humphreys, W.F. and Hughes, J.M. Journal Article 2008 Shrimps downunder: Evolutionary relationships of subterranean crustaceans from Western Australia (Decapods: Atyidae: Stygiocaris)
Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 2008 Rising from down under: developments in subterranean biodiversity in Australia from a groundwater fauna perspective
Thacker, C.E. Journal Article 2009 Phylogeny of Gobioidei and placement within Acanthomorpha, with a new classification abd investigation of diversification and character evolution
Chakrabarty, P. Journal Article 2010 Status and phylogeny of Milyerigidae (Teleostei:Gobiiformes), with the description of a new blind cave-fish from Australia, Milyeringa brooksi, n. sp.
Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P. and Sparks, J.S. Journal Article 2012 The first record of a trans-oceanic sister-group relationship between obligate vertebrate troglobites
Sparks, J.S. and Chakrabarty, P. Journal Article 2012 Revision of the endemic Malagasy cavefish genus Typhleotris (Teleostei: Gobiiformes: Milyeringidae) with discussion of its phylogenetic placement and description of a new species
Humphreys, W.F Book Section 2012 Diversity patterns in Australia
Larson, H.K., Foster, R., Humphreys, W.F. and Stevens, M. Journal Article 2013 A new species of blind cave gudgeon Milyeringa (Pisces: Gobioidei, Eleotridaee) from Barrow Island, Western Australia, with a redescription of M. veritas Whitley
Tornabene, L., Chen, Y.G. and Pezold, F. Journal Article 2013 Gobies are deeply divided: phylogenetic evidence from nuclear DNA (Teleostei: Gobioidei: Gobiidae)
Morgan, D.L., Unmack, P.J., Beatty, S.J., Ebner, B.C., Allen, M.G., Keleher, J., Donaldson, J.A. and Murphy, J. Journal Article 2014 An overview of the 'freshwater fishes' of Western Australia
Rasoloariniaina, J.R., Ganzhorn, J.U., Riemann, J.C. and Raminosoa, N. Journal Article 2016 Water quality and biotic interaction of two cavefish species: Typhleotris madagascariensis Petit, 1933 and Typhleotris maraybe Sparks and Chakrabarty, 2012, in the Mahafaly Plateau groundwater syste, Madagascar
Humphreys, W. F. Book Section 2016 Australasian subterranean biodiversity
Moore, G.I. Journal Article 2018 New morphological data and live photographs of the rare subterranean blind cave eel Ophisternon candidum (Synbranchidae) from north‑western Australia
Moore, G.I., Humphreys, W.F., Foster, R. Journal Article 2018 New populations of the rare subterranean Blind Cave Eel Ophisternon candidum (Synbranchidae) reveal recent historical connections throughout northwestern Australia
Halse, S. Book Section 2018 Subterranean fauna of the arid zone
Page, T.J.,Stevens, M.I., Adams, M., Foster, R. Velasco-Castrillón, A. and Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 2018 Multiple molecular markers reinforce the systematic framework of unique Australian cave fishes (Milyeringa : Gobioidei)
Page, T.J., Hughes, J.M., Real, K.M., Stevens, M.I., King, R.A. and Humphreys, W.F. Journal Article 2018 Allegory of a cave crustacean: systematic and biogeographic reality of Halosbaena (Peracarida: Thermosbaenacea) sought with molecular data at multiple scales