Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Atheriniformes
(Silversides) > Melanotaeniidae
(Rainbowfishes, blue eyes)
Etymology: Melanotaenia: Greek, melan, -anos = black + latin, taenia = stripe (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 24°C - 30°C (Ref. 2060); 12°S - 16°S
Oceania: occurs in the Edith River Gorge and Lake Malkyyllumbo (Edith Falls National Park), upper south Alligator River system and Moline Pool (Mary River system), Northern Territory, Australia. Edith River is a tributary of the Daly River system, 230 km southeast of Darwin.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 7.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 44894); 5.0 cm SL (female)
Inhabits steep gradient streams with numerous cascades and normally crystal clear water. Tends to congregate in pools at the base of small waterfalls where flow is rapid but is also found in quieter sections of streams and lakes. Prefers areas fully exposed to sunlight. Found in small, clear, swift-flowing streams, occasionally seen above high waterfalls. Also occurs in a lacustrine environment at the base of Edith Falls (Northern Territory) (Ref. 44894). Feeds mainly on aquatic and terrestrial insects and their larvae, also on green algae. Sympatric with M. splendida australis. A good aquarium fish, typical of most rainbowfishes in this respect. Should probably be provided with more space and additional aeration than is usually recommended for fish of this size due to its fast swimming habits and affinity for well-oxygenated waters at the base of waterfalls and rapids (Ref. 44894).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Distinct pairing (Ref. 205).
Allen, G.R., 1989. Freshwater fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey. (Ref. 5259)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.9 ±0.34 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .