Melanotaenia lakamora [Lake Lakamora] - photo© Gunther Schmida

Melanotaenia lakamora

Allen and Renyaan, 1996
Lakamora Rainbowfish

Species Summary
Melanotaenia lakamora is a very attractive rainbowfish. The body colour of adult males is generally an overall mauve colouration except for silvery white on the breast and lower half of head. Four lateral scale rows on middle of the body are separated by bright orange stripes. They display a broad, blackish to dark blue, mid-lateral stripe, which is most intense from the eye to the pectoral fin region and on the caudal peduncle, one scale row wide anteriorly and occupying two scale rows posteriorly. The scales of the body have narrow dark margins, most evident on the lower half, particularly above the anal fin where several zigzag lines may be apparent.

The dorsal and anal fins are bright red. The pelvic fins are slightly orange to translucent while the caudal and pectoral fins are mainly translucent. Female specimens from Lake Lakamora are bronze on the upper half and whitish below with blackish mid-lateral stripe about 1~2 scales wide. They have narrow orange stripes along the upper and lower edge of the mid-lateral stripe. Fins are clear to translucent, except the second dorsal and anal fins, which have a pale orange colouration. Growing to a size of around 6 cm, the males are easily distinguished from females by their brighter colours and longer and more elongated dorsal fin rays. During spawning males become intensely red with a white-hot forehead stripe. A male specimen collected from Lake Aiwaso by Gerry Allen was pale mauve on the upper half and silvery white below with golden scale margins.

Distribution & Habitat
Melanotaenia lakamora have been collected from Lake Lakamora and Lake Aiwaso in the remote southern region of West Papua, immediately east of the Bomberai Peninsula and about 50 km due east of the seaport of Kaimana. The lakes are surrounded by steep forested hills and situated just inland from Triton Bay. There are three main lakes: Kamakawaiar, Lakamora, and Aiwaso collectively known as the Triton Lakes. Lake Aiwaso is roughly circular with a diameter of about 2.5 km and lies a few hundred metres from Lake Lakamora and separated by a 100 metre high ridge. Lake Lakamora is approximately 6~7 km long and 1~3 km wide.

Melanotaenia lakamora [Lake Aiwaso] - photo© Gerald Allen

This species was named lakamora, with reference to Lake Lakamora, the type locality. Live specimens were collected from Lake Lakamora by Heiko Bleher for the aquarium hobby in 1995.

Allen G.R. & S.J. Renyaan (1996) Three new species of rainbowfishes (Melanotaeniidae) from the Triton Lakes, Irian Jaya, New Guinea. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 2 (2): 13-24.

Adrian R. Tappin
Updated December, 2008

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