Three new species of Rainbowfishes (Melanotaeniidae) from the Birds Head Peninsula, West Papua Province, Indonesia

Gerald Allen, Peter UNMACK, Renny Hadiaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three new species of melanotaeniid rainbowfishes are described from fresh waters of the Birds Head Peninsula, West Papua Province, Indonesia. Melanotaenia ericrobertsi is described from 41 specimens, 18.4-52.1 mm SL, from the upper Kladuk River system. It was first collected in 1982 and included among the type series of M. irianjaya. However, recent genetic evidence reveals it is a distinct species, closely related to Melanotaenia from nearby drainages including M. ajamaruensis, M. boesemani, M. fasinensis, and two additional new species described in this paper, M. laticlavia and M. multiradiata. Melanotaenia laticlavia is described on the basis of 6 specimens, 33.7-69.6 mm SL from Aifuf Creek, and M. multiradiata from 23 specimens, 37.4-122.5 mm SL from Sisiah Creek. These Birds Head species are primarily distinguished on the basis of distinctive adult male colour patterns and cytochrome b genetic analysis. However, M. laticlavia exhibits two separate patches of vomerine teeth, an unusual melanotaeniid feature, and M. multiradiata has a relatively high pectoral-fin ray count (> 90 % with 15 rays or more).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalAQUA - International Journal of Ichthyology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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