Melanotaenia laticlavia - photo© Mikael Håkansson

Melanotaenia laticlavia

Allen, Unmack and Hadiaty 2014
Aifuf Rainbowfish

Species Summary
Colour generally olive-green to bronzy-yellow, often darker dorsally, with darker scale margins imparting a network appearance; narrow orange stripe between each horizontal scale row on side of body; frequently with dark blue to blackish mid-lateral stripe on side of body, often interrupted and usually narrower on anterior half and much broader (up to 3 scales wide) posteriorly; breast yellow orange in adult male, whitish in female; both sexes usually with broad blue-grey zone, tapering nearly to a point posteriorly, on lower side from below pectoral-fin base to above middle of anal fin; dorsal and anal fins pale orange to vivid orange in adult males, pale yellow to bluish in females; second dorsal and anal fins with dark brown to blackish submarginal stripe and pale blue outer margin; caudal fin translucent with dusky greyish rays and narrow blackish dorsal and ventral margins; pelvic fins orange in adult males and whitish in females; pectoral fins translucent; iris mainly golden yellow; broad blackish stripe across uppermost part of operculum and vivid red spot (about half pupil size) immediately below.

Distribution & Habitat
Melanotaenia laticlavia is currently known only from Aifuf Creek in the Birds Head region of West Papua. The type locality consists of a narrow (about 1-2 m wide), relatively shallow (to about 0.5-1.0 m depth) stream with very gradual gradients flowing through second growth forest. The type specimens were mainly collected over sand and gravel bottoms. The stream is located in the upper reaches of the Kamundan River system, one of several large rivers that flow into the mouth of Berau Bay at the southernmost portion of the Birds Head Peninsula. The type locality, at 154 m elevation, is situated about 108 km north of the river mouth or following the meandering path of the river it is approximately 220 km upstream from the sea.

Melanotaenia laticlavia is named laticlavia (Latin: having a broad stripe) with reference to the broad bluish-grey stripe along the lower side of the body.

Allen G.R., P.J. Unmack and R.K. Hadiaty (2014) Three new species of Rainbowfishes (Melanotaeniidae) from the Birds Head Peninsula, West Papua Province, Indonesia. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 20(3): 139-158.

Adrian R. Tappin
August, 2014

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Melanotaenia laticlavia