New Melanotaenia rainbowfish named from West Papua

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Scientists have described a beautiful new species of rainbowfish from West Papua, Indonesia.

Ichthyologists Paradis, Pouyaud, Kadarusman and Sudarto named the new species as Melanotaenia fasinensis in a paper in the journal Cybium.

Melanotaenia fasinensis was discovered in the Fasin River about 25km west of Lake Ayamaru on West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula.

It was found in a 1m/39" deep 4-5m wide stream with a gradual gradient flowing through secondary forest.

It lives over a substrate of gravel, and among limestone boulders and fallen tree branches. Water was pH 7.7, 25.3C and 281uS conductivity.

The Fasin River is also home to sleeper gobies of the family Eleotridae and several species of Cherax crayfishes.

Bird's Head Peninsula

The Bird's Head Peninsula area is a rainbowfish hotspot.

Others found in this region include boesemani, ajamaruensis, arfakensis, kokasensis, fredericki, batanta, catherinae, synergos, ammeri, parva, angfa, misoolensis, irianjaya and fasinensis.

The paper also includes a key to the species found on the Bird's Head Peninsula to help scientists identify the rainbowfishes more easily.

For more information see the paper: Kadarusman, Suddarto, Paradis E and L Poyaud (2010) - Description of Melanotaenia fasinensis, a new species of rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae) from West Papua, Indonesia with comments on the rediscovery of M. ajamaruensis and the endangered status of M. parva.