Melanotaenia multiradiata (male) - photo© Rüdiger Bäcker

Melanotaenia multiradiata

Allen, Unmack and Hadiaty 2014
Moswaren Rainbowfish

Species Summary
Colour generally bluish-green on dorsal portion of head and body, grading to whitish ventrally; body scales, including those of breast and ventral portion of side, with narrow blackish margins imparting overall network appearance; usually with prominent dark blue to blackish mid-lateral stripe from pectoral-fin base to caudal-fin base, less distinct and occupying single scale row on anterior half to two thirds of body, but more vivid and wider (covering 2-3 horizontal scale rows) on posterior body including caudal peduncle, although not clearly visible; head with broad blackish stripe from snout to upper rear margin of operculum, interrupted by eye; silvery spot on upper operculum immediately below aforementioned dark stripe, remainder of operculum and cheek yellowish to bronze; dorsal fins reddish with pronounced dark brown to blackish submarginal stripe and broad, white outer margin; anal fin bluish grey to yellow or reddish; caudal fin dusky grey with narrow, white posterior margin; pelvic fins dusky grey to whitish; pectoral fins translucent. Adult male paratypes generally similar, but sometimes with pronounced yellow area occupying 3-4 horizontal scale rows on middle of side are similar to the pattern described above with adults generally displaying a conspicuous dark blue to blackish mid-lateral stripe.

Melanotaenia multiradiata (female) - photo© Rüdiger Bäcker

Distribution & Habitat
Melanotaenia multiradiata is currently known only from Sisiah Creek near Moswaren Village, which lies about 25 km east of the town of Teminabuan, near the south coast of the Birds Head region of West Papua. The type locality consists of a 15-20 m wide stream with depths to about 2 m and slow to moderate flow through second growth forest. The type specimens were mainly collected over a limestone rock bottom, and were concentrated around log debris in the deeper sections. The stream was exceptionally clear at the time of collection with estimated underwater visibility of 20 m. The type locality is situated at an elevation of about 86 m, approximately 58 km upstream from where it eventually flows into Waromge Bay.

Melanotaenia multiradiata is named multiradiata (Latin: many rays) with reference to the relatively high number of pectoral-fin rays.

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
March, 2016

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Melanotaenia multiradiata