Melanotaenia corona was described on the basis of two specimens collected in 1911 from the Sermowai River, near Walckenaer Bay, northern New Guinea, about 2°47'S, 140°00'E. It differs from other members of the genus in the shape of the dorsal and anal fin outline and colour pattern. The body is laterally compressed and elongated. Two dorsal fins, very close together, the first much smaller than the second. May reach a maximum size of 12 cm, but usually less than 10 cm. Melanotaenia corona is distinguished from other member's of the genus on the basis of colour pattern, particularly the combination of the four broad dark stripes on the back and the very dark coloration of the dorsal and anal fins. Moreover, it is the only member of the genus in which the longest soft rays of the dorsal and anal fin are located in the middle part of these fins, a character which is also present in the genus Glossolepis.
Distribution & Habitat
Known only from the upper Sermowai River on the north coast of West Papua, about 75 kilometres west of Jayapura. They were collected by Dr. Knud Gjellerup in 1911. Four other species of rainbowfishes were collected by Gjellerup from the Sermowai River: Chilatherina crassispinosa, Chilatherina fasciata, Chilatherina lorentzi and Melanotaenia affinis. However, it is not known if they share the same habitat with Melanotaenia corona.
The only 2 known specimens must have escaped Weber and de Beaufort's attention. The holotype is preserved in Amsterdam, the only paratype moved with Gerald Allen to the Western Australian Museum in Perth. Today Melanotaenia corona is still awaiting rediscovery. The specific name is Latin, meaning rim, or border, alluding to the distinctive white margin on the dorsal fins. This species is not currently available in the aquarium hobby.
Allen G.R. (1982) Melanotaenia corona, a new species of rainbowfish from northern New Guinea (Pisces, Atheriniformes, Melanotaeniidae). Bulletin Zoölogisch Museum, Universiteit van Amsterdam 8(21): 173-176.
Adrian R. Tappin
Updated April, 2013