Melanotaenia kokasensis - photo© Gerald Allen

Melanotaenia kokasensis

Allen, Unmack and Hadiaty, 2008
Kokas Rainbowfish

Species Summary
Adult male Melanotaenia kokasensis have an overall pale blue-grey body colouration with a blackish midlateral band at the level of the upper pectoral-fin base. The midlateral band is more or less solid on the rear half of the body, but incomplete anteriorly where it is composed of darkened posterior scale margins. There are narrow orange stripes between each scale row on the upper half of body. Most of the scales on the upper two-thirds of the side have narrow greyish margins. The upper portion of head is greyish while the lower half is white. A poorly defined stripe, about equal to the pupil in width runs from the rear edge of the eye to immediately above the pectoral-fin base where it merges with the midlateral band. The lower body is whitish with a broad, oblong bluish patch extending from just below the pectoral-fin base to above the middle of the anal fin. The dorsal fins are mainly greyish-blue with a narrow white margin on the second dorsal fin. The caudal fin is whitish with a slightly dusky grey basal half and faint blackish dorsal and ventral margins. The anal fin is dusky yellow; pelvic fins bright yellow; pectoral fins translucent with small black spot on upper base and smaller silvery-white spot just above. The colour pattern of females is similar to that of the males except they are generally less vivid and the pelvic fins are whitish. Unlike most members of Melanotaenia, males and females are difficult to differentiate on the basis of body depth or other external features. This species was named after the village of Kokas, which is the major landmark in the area.

Distribution & Habitat
This species is currently known only from the type locality; a small stream flowing along a limestone creek bed through primary forest. The stream plunges down a steep 20 metre high ramp next to the sea into a mangrove-lined inlet near the village of Kokas on the northern Fakfak Peninsula. Specimens were located about one kilometre upstream, in a circular pool with an approximate diameter of 15- 20 metres with a maximum depth of about 0.5 metre. This pool was situated only about 20 metres downstream from a series of limestone fissures that appears to be the stream's underground origin.

Melanotaenia kokasensis were collected from a small creek above a waterfall near Kokas, northern Fakfak Peninsula in West Papua by Gerald Allen and Max Ammer in 2008. This species is not currently available in the aquarium hobby.

Allen G.R., P.J. Unmack and R.K. Hadiaty (2008) Two new species of rainbowfishes (Melanotaenia: Melanotaeniidae), from, western New Guinea (Papua Barat Province, Indonesia). Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 14: 209-224.

Adrian R. Tappin
January, 2012

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Melanotaenia kokasensis