Kokopu (Galaxias fasciatus) is a sluggish native fish found under stones and around sunken logs in most “bush-type” streams throughout New Zealand. It is dull brown, variously marked when adult with undulating pale streaks, especially towards the tail (hence often called the “banded galaxias”). They grow to about a foot in length and lack scales. The “giant galaxias” (G. alepichotus) is a related species, blackish in colour with distinct horseshoe markings, which may grow to 18 in. in length.
Sometimes the banded and giant galaxias are called “native trout”, but they are not related to trout and the former names are more appropriate.
by Lawrence James Paul, B.SC., Fisheries Division, Marine Department, Wellington.