Tupong-also known as 'Congolli'-live in slow-moving waters, from estuaries to the rivers and creeks of tall forests.
Their mottled color pattern blends well with the detritus and leaf litter covering stream beds, where they frequently remain motionless, partially buried in the debris.
Large individuals are generally most common at the upstream extent of their range, with males and females appearing to differ in their preference for portions of the habitat. Mature adults migrate downstream into estuaries during the autumn and winter to breed.
Young tend to remain in the lower portions of rivers, slowly moving upstream as they grow.
These fish hunt along the stream bottom for worms, insect larvae, molluscs, shrimps and small fish.
Closely related to the dominant fish groups of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic marine waters, which include the ice fishes that lack haemoglobin in their blood, this is the only member of the group which has adapted well to freshwater. It is confined to the temperate coastal bays and freshwater drainages from Southern New South Wales to the eastern end of the Great Australian Bight.
Known to attain a length of 36 cm, most individuals encountered are rarely much longer than 10-15 cm.