Heiko Bleher on a gorgeous rainbowfish, one of many new fish species he has discovered in locations around the world.
Origin: Batanta island, New Guinea.
Location: Found in a 23km/14 mile nameless river found only via ONC satellite maps of this island which is less than 80km/50 miles long.
The river entrance took two days to find because the entire northern coast was overgrown with thick, dense mangroves.
G. R. Allen has found another population of this species in the Wei Bin stream on the eastern part of the island, but this differs slightly from the original population. It looks more like M. catherinae, which can only be found on the island of Waigeo.
Notes: This fish is a colourful feast for the eyes. Be cautious when buying, however, because there are hybrids which we should avoid.
The name of my rainbow fish was auctioned by Christie’s during the Blue Auction in Monte Carlo in 2007, along with ten other (marine) fish species names, which Allen and M. Erdmann had discovered. It was sold for $65,000 to Peggy Dulany, the founder of the Synergos Institute.
Aquarium: Well established in the hobby, this is a very easy care, peaceful and a company fish for the medium-sized aquarium. M. synergos will hardly exceed 7cm/2.8” in total length.
This item first appeared in the November 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.