Melanotaenia arguni (∧ male ∨ female) - photo© B. Dwisusilo

Melanotaenia arguni

Kadarusman, Hadiaty and Pouyaud, 2012
Arguni Rainbowfish

Species Summary
Melanotaenia arguni have a basic body colour that is generally brown dorsally; body scales with narrow dark outline; lower half of side of body and belly whitish; narrow yellowish stripes between each horizontal scale row on lower half of body side; a diffuse dark blotch immediately behind eye on uppermost part of operculum; a dark midlateral stripe about one scale wide extending from upper edge of preopercle to caudal-fin base; pectoral fin translucent; remaining fins with grey tint increasing from the base to the tip. Overall colour of females is similar but paler than males. Except for the colouration, which is less intense for the female, there appears to be little differences between male and female. Males lack the pronounced depth of the body and the elongation of the posterior dorsal and anal fin rays. This is an unusual feature for Melanotaenia because males are generally deeper bodied than females and have a more elongate and pointed shape posteriorly on the soft dorsal and anal fins. The species was named arguni, with reference to the type locality.

Melanotaenia arguni is related to the species occurring on the Bomberai Peninsula and on the Bird's Head Peninsula (Vogelkop or Doberai Peninsula) of far western New Guinea. The Bird's Head Peninsula forms the north-western end of the island of New Guinea. To the east is Cenderawasih Bay and to the south Bintuni Bay. To the west, across the Dampier Strait is Waigeo Island, and Batanta Island lies just off the northwest tip. The peninsula south is Bomberai Peninsula.

Distribution & Habitat
Melanotaenia arguni is currently known only from the type locality. Jasu Creek is a stream of less than 5 metres width and flowing to the western side of the Arguni Bay. The habitat in the vicinity of Egerwara village consists of shallow and slow flowing water over sandy substrate in secondary forest and cocoa plantations.

Specimens of Melanotaenia arguni were collected in November 2010 during the Lengguru-Kaimana Expedition led by Balai Riset Budidaya Ikan Hias in Depok, Indonesia (BRBIH-KKP), the Akademi Perikanan Sorong, Indonesia (APSOR-KKP), the Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) and by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement Montpellier, France (IRD).

Kadarusman, R.K. Hadiaty, G. Segura, G. Setiawibawa, D. Caruso & J. Pouyaud (2012) Four new species of Rainbowfishes (Melanotaeniidae) from Arguni Bay, West Papua, Indonesia / Quatre nouvelles espéces de poissons arc-en-ciel (Melanotaeniidae) de la baie d'Arguni en Papouasie occidentale, Indonésie. Cybium, 36(2): 369-382.

Adrian R. Tappin
Created July, 2012.

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Melanotaenia arguni