As its name implies, this member of the Galaxiidae family is found only on Chatham Island and it is therefore unlikely to be encountered by most New Zealanders. It was discovered in 1994 and at present is only known from remote peat lakes on the southern part of the island. It can be distinguished from most other mudfish by the presence of well developed pelvic fins, and from other galaxiids by the deep caudal peduncle with strong dorsal and ventral flanges. Juvenile Chatham mudfish resemble inanga, but the two species do not co-exist. The Chatham mudfish apparently lives its whole life in fresh water; although little is known about it.