Animal Species:Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi (Castelnau, 1878)
The Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish has a dark stripe along the side and a red spot on the upper operculum. Males have a series of red stripes along the sides of the body and red spots on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins. The species is endemic to Australia.
Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi
Photographer: Mark McGrouther © Australian Museum
Standard Common Name
The Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish is olive brown above, silvery on the sides and white below. There is a dark stripe along the side and a red spot on the upper operculum. The scale margins are brownish.
Males have a series of red stripes along the sides of the body and red spots on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins. When males display to females, all their fins, with the exception of the pelvics, have black margins. The fins of females and juveniles are clear.
Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish grows to 9 cm in length but individuals of 6 cm to 7 cm are more common.
The species is endemic to Australia. It is found in coastal freshwaters from southern Queensland to northern New South Wales.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
- Allen, G.R. 1982. Rainbowfishes of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Angus & Robertson. Pp. 141. (as M. splendida fluviatilis)
- Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
- Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
- Allen, G.R. in McDowall, R.M. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
- Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, stripes or bands, dots/spots, endemic to Australia, Duboulay's Rainbowfish, olive brown, silvery sides, white underside, < 10 cm, freshwater, coastal freshwaters,