Melanotaenia wokamensis

Allen, Hadiaty, Unmack & Erdmann, 2015
Wokam Rainbowfish

Species Summary
Melanotaenia wokamensis males are grey-brown dorsally on the head, nape and predorsal region; cheek and side of snout blue-grey; operculum blue with silvery stripe across level of lower eye, interrupted by small (about one-half pupil size) red spot; iris silvery-white with tan and blackish patches (entirely silvery-white in most other paratypes); scales of upper back sky-blue with metallic reflections, and narrow bronze to red-orange stripe between each horizontal row, lowermost (at level of upper eye) widest and brilliant red-orange; dark blue midlateral stripe, most vivid from behind eye to above pectoral fin and on posterior half of body, edged below for most its length (except anteriormost part of body) with orange stripe; ventral portion of body, including breast greyish-white except bold, dark-blue margins on scales above anal fin and large, bright blue patch just behind and below pectoral-fin base; first dorsal fin bluish; second dorsal and anal fins blue basally with broad reddish outer margin; caudal fin semitranslucent reddish; pelvic fins white; pectoral fins semitranslucent. Paratypes were generally similar, although there is considerable variation in the intensity of the dark-blue scale margins ventrally on the side of the body, above the anal fin. Also the red-orange stripe in the largest males from Sungai Gayarfafeimusin is particularly intense and slightly wider than fish from the other two sites. Females of this species are generally similar to males, but with slightly less vivid colours.

This species is named wokamensis with reference to the Wokam Island type locality.

Distribution & Habitat
Melanotaenia wokamensis is currently known only from three tributaries of Sungai Tunguwatu on the western side of Wokam Island. The streams were typically narrow (average width about 3-5 m) limestone channels flowing through rainforest. The species was most common in deeper pools (to 1.5-2.0 m depth) below the numerous cascades and small waterfalls. These streams are prone to flash-flooding during heavy afternoon showers in the rainy season.

Allen G.R., R.K. Hadiaty, P.J. Unmack and M.V. Erdmann (2015) Rainbowfishes (Melanotaenia: Melanotaeniidae) of the Aru Islands, Indonesia with descriptions of five new species and redescription of M. patoti Weber and M. senckenbergianus Weber. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 21(2): 66-108.

Adrian R. Tappin
June, 2015

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Melanotaenia wokamensis