These fish live in summer rainfall areas in many of South Africa’s river systems, including the Orange-Vaal system, the Gourits, Gamtoos, Great Fish and Bushmans systems.
They prefer standing or gently flowing water, and unlike many other indigenous fish, thrive in dams.
In summer, they migrate upstream after rains, and spawn over flooded grassy river banks. Each female produces about 250 000 eggs, which hatch within 2 days. The larvae swim to the surface, and are lifted by the current and carried into deeper water, before the floodwaters subside altogether.