Puketi Forest Trust, restoring and protecting the native wildlife, trees and plants of Puketi Forest in Northland, New Zealand.

Banded Kokopu

The scientific name for kokopu is Galaxias fasciatus. Banded kokopu are only found in New Zealand, where it likes small, clean streams and plenty of shade.

Kokopu have been found in both rural and urban streams. In urban areas, banded kokopu can usually be found where the streams are clean and forested, but not in other places where streams are less clean.

Banded kokopu commonly grow to over 200 mm. Adult banded kokopu usually live in very small tributaries where there is an overhead canopy of vegetation.

Puketi Forest Trust, restoring and protecting the native wildlife, trees and plants of Puketi Forest in Northland, New Zealand.

Banded kokopu live in urban streams where overhead shade is present. They come out at night to hunt for food. They swim in slow-moving water looking for beetles that fall into the water from overhanging plants and trees.

The kokopu lays its eggs on the edge of its home stream, which then carries the hatched eggs (larvae) out to sea. The larvae are carried around the coast for months before the young fishes return to freshwater as whitebait and begin their journey upstream to live their adult lives in rivers.

Did you know? The adult banded kokopu is as long as a 10 year old human’s foot.