New Bedotia rainbow described


Scientists have described a new species of rainbowfish from Madagascar.

Paul Loiselle of the New York Aquarium and Damaris Rodriguez of the American Museum of Natural History described the new species as Bedotia leucopteron in a paper in the latest issue of the systematics journal Zootaxa.

Bedotia leucopteron was discovered in shaded streams in the middle reaches of the Iaroka-Rinala basin in eastern Madagascar and was found at elevations of 100 to 843m above sea level.

The species can be told apart from other Bedotia by its distinctive metallic blue and gold base colour and the presence of small scattered black spots on the flanks, as well as white margins on the unpaired fins in specimens of 2.5cm or more.

Bedotia leucopteron reaches a size of 11cm in captivity and is said to be more robust that Bedotia geayi and madagascariensis.

It lives in shoals of 50-100 specimens and swims among waterlogged wood in very strongly flowing water. Water conditions range from pH 6.0-7.0, with temperature ranging from 17-26 degrees C depending on the altitude.

The name is derived from the Greek leukos, which means white, and pteron, which means fin, and refers to the iridescent white colouration of the fins of males.

The genus Bedotia contains sixteen species, but only seven of these have been formally described. Many species are threatened with extinction, but B. leucopteron is not thought to be seriously endangered.

Loiselle PV and D Rodriguez (2007) - A new species of Bedotia (Teleostei: Atherinomorpha: Bedotiidae) from the Rianila drainage of Eastern Madagascar, with redescriptions of Bedotia madagascariensis and Bedotia geayi. Zootaxa, 1520: 1-18.