Melanotaenia ammeri - photo© Gerald Allen

Melanotaenia ammeri

Allen, Unmack and Hadiaty, 2008
Ammer's Rainbowfish

Species Summary
The male colouration of Melanotaenia ammeri is generally bluish on the upper body with a series of alternating mauve to blue-grey and pale yellow stripes corresponding with each of the horizontal scale rows on the side of the body. The midlateral stripe, at the level of the upper pectoral-fin base is usually much darker than the others. The blue stripes below become progressively more inconspicuous and forming interrupted dotted lines. A broad, horizontally bluish streak immediately above the abdomen. The upper portion of the head is blue or greyish, while the lower half is silvery white. The dorsal, anal, pelvic and caudal fins are pale yellow. The pectoral fins translucent with a white base. The colour pattern of the females are similar to that of the males except the blue and yellow hues of the body stripes are generally less vivid and the median fins are mainly translucent, only slightly yellow. The distinctive pattern of alternating mauve to blue-grey and yellow stripes is unique among species of Melanotaenia.

Males are generally deeper bodied than females and have a more elongate, pointed shape posteriorly on the soft dorsal fin. The longest soft dorsal-fin rays of males are located in the posterior-most portion of the fin, in contrast to that of females, which are situated in the anterior half of fin. In addition, the depressed first dorsal fin of adult males extends to the base of the second or third soft ray of the second dorsal fin, compared with the spine of first ray in females. This species was named "ammeri" in honour of Max Ammer of Sorong, West Papua.

Distribution & Habitat
Melanotaenia ammeri is currently known only from the type locality; a small creek flowing into the northern part of Arguni Bay near Gusimawa Village. It no doubt occurs in nearby streams, but the exact limits of distribution remain to be determined. The type locality consisted of a narrow (2-3 metre wide), relatively shallow (to about 0.5 metre) stream with gradual gradients flowing through second growth forest, about one kilometre upstream from the sea. The type specimens were collected over sand and gravel bottoms with substantial leaf litter and dead tree branches.

Melanotaenia ammeri - photo© Laurent Pouyaud

Melanotaenia ammeri was collected from a small creek near Gusimawa Village, Arguni Bay, West Papua by Gerald Allen and Max Ammer in 2008. Live specimens have been collected for the aquarium hobby.

Allen G.R., P.J. Unmack & R.K. Hadiaty (2008) Two new species of rainbowfishes (Melanotaenia: Melanotaeniidae), from western New Guinea (Papua Barat Province, Indonesia). aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, 14 (4): 209-224.

Adrian R. Tappin
Updated October, 2015

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Melanotaenia ammeri