Animal Species:Banded Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia trifasciata (Rendahl, 1922)

The Banded Rainbowfish occurs in freshwater streams and waterholes and is a popular aquarium fish that has a variety of colour forms.

A Banded Rainbowfish from the Dalhunty River

Neil Armstrong © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Banded Rainbowfish

Identification

The Banded Rainbowfish has a compressed body and a small head. Its dorsal and anal fins are both long-based.

The species is a popular aquarium fish that has a variety of colour forms. It is often bluish or greenish on the back and sides. The breast, belly and lower half of the head are usually silvery or whitish. The median fins are yellow or red. A dark stripe (sometimes faint) is usually present along the side of body.

Size range

The Banded Rainbowfish grows to 13 cm in length but is more commonly seen up to 8 cm.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia. It occurs in freshwater streams and waterholes in northern parts of the Northern Territory and Cape York, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Melanotaenia trifasciata

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Banded Rainbowfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
trifasciata
Genus:
Melanotaenia
Family:
Melanotaeniidae
Order:
Atheriniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
  2. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  3. Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.
  4. Wilson, D. 2002. A visit with the Djelk Rangers of Central Arnhem Land. Fishes of Sahul. 16(1): 806-814.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Banded Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia trifasciata, Melanotaeniidae, freshwater, popular aquarium fish, compressed body, small head, blue, green, pale underside, stripes or bands, 10 cm - 30 cm, endemic to Australia, freshwater streams, waterholes,