Ornate Rainbowfish, <i>Rhadinocentrus ornatus<i> Click to enlarge image
An Ornate Rainbowfish caught in a small stream in Alstonville, northern New South Wales, March 2002. Image: Mark McGrouther
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    ornatus
    Genus
    Rhadinocentrus
    Family
    Melanotaeniidae
    Order
    Atheriniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to a maximum size of 5 cm to 6 cm, although fish of up to 4 cm in length are more commonly encountered.

Introduction

The Ornate Rainbowfish can be recognised by its slightly elongate shape and the dark scale margins that form a network pattern. It occurs in coastal freshwater streams from southern Queensland to northern New South Wales.



Identification

The Ornate Rainbowfish has a slightly elongate, semi-transparent body and dark scale margins that form a network pattern. The species usually has red fins although they may be bluish. Fish from dark, tanin-stained waters can be almost black in colour.


Ornate Rainbowfish, <i>Rhadinocentrus ornatus<i>
An Ornate Rainbowfish in an aquarium. The fish was caught in a tributary of Poperaperan Creek, Coramba, New South Wales, 9 May 2013. Image: Robert McCormack
© Robert McCormack

Habitat

It is usually found in slow-flowing streams, ponds and dune lakes.

Distribution

The Ornate Rainbowfish occurs in coastal freshwater streams 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.



Economic impacts

The Ornate Rainbowfish is a popular aquarium species.

References

  1. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.