Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish (Melanotaenia parva)

Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish
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Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish fact file

Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish description

GenusMelanotaenia (1)

The rainbowfish are a group of small, freshwater fish with a fairly compressed body, large scales, and, as the name suggests, bright colouration (3). The Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish is quite variable in colour, the male being either pale bluish to purplish, with a black stripe along the side, or silvery, with red speckling and with narrow red lines between each row of scales on the sides. The fins are red (2) (4). As in other rainbowfish, the female is less brightly coloured than the male, with less elaborate fins (2) (3) (4), while young males may be more pinkish-purple in colour, turning brighter orange-red with age (2). The Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish has two dorsal fins, the second of which is longer than the first and lacks spines, and there is also a long anal fin beneath the body (3). Although potentially growing up to about nine centimetres, a maximum length of six centimetres is more usual (2) (4).

Also known as
Lake Kuromai rainbowfish.
Length: up to 9 cm (2)

Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish biology

Virtually nothing is known about the biology of this species. In general, though, rainbowfish are schooling fishes, and eat a variety of foods, including algae, aquatic insects and small crustaceans. Breeding may occur year-round, or may be stimulated by the rainy season, and the eggs are reportedly laid in aquatic vegetation, hatching after one to two weeks (3).


Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish range

The Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish, as its common name suggests, is endemic to Lake Kurumoi, in the Vogelkop Peninsula of Irian Jaya, Indonesia (1) (2) (4) (5).


Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish habitat

Like other rainbowfish, the Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish inhabits freshwater. Lake Kurumoi is a small lake, around 500 by 800 metres, and is part of the Yakati River system, located in mountainous terrain at around 400 metres above sea level (1) (2) (4) (5).


Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable


Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish threats

The main threat to the Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish is habitat alteration due to an infestation of tilapia (1), an invasive fish that has been introduced to many areas as a food source. The beautiful colours of rainbowfish have also made them popular in the aquarium trade (3). The Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish was introduced to this trade in 1999 (2), although the impact on the wild population is unknown. Its restriction to a single lake may also make this species particularly vulnerable to any environmental catastrophe to hit the lake.


Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish conservation

There are currently no known conservation measures in place for the Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish. Further research into the species and the threats it faces are likely to be needed before any appropriate conservation action can be taken.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

To find out more about the Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish see:



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:



Simple plants that lack roots, stems and leaves but contain the green pigment chlorophyll. Most occur in marine and freshwater habitats.
Anal fin
In fish, an unpaired fin on the under surface of a fish, behind the anus.
Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (parts of the mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, slaters, woodlice and barnacles.
Dorsal fin
The unpaired fin found on the back of the body of fish, or the raised structure on the back of most cetaceans.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.


  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2009)
  2. Home of the Rainbowfish: Melanotaenia parva (December, 2009)
  3. Berra, T.M. (2007) Freshwater Fish Distribution. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  4. Aquatic Community: Lake Kurumoi Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia parva (December, 2009)
  5. FishBase (December, 2009)

Image credit

Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish  
Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish

© Johnny Jensen /

Image Quest Marine
The Moos
Poffley End
OX29 9UW
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1993 704050
Fax: +44 (0) 1993 779203


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