Lorentz's Rainbowfish - Chilatherina lorentzii
The Lorentz's Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Weber in 1907. Its scientific name is Chilatherina lorentzii. Dr. K Gjellerup encountered the species in the upper Sermowai River in 1911, but almost 70 years passed before it was ever seen again. In 1979, Dr Gerald R. Allen collected several specimens from Puive Creek.
Lorentz's Rainbowfish can reach a length of at least 12 cm and is therefore a comparatively big rainbowfish. The back of the body is brown or olive coloured, while the sides are bluish or silvery. The belly is white. The different shades gradually overlap each other on the body of the fish so there are not sharp alterations.
The male fish is adorned with a broad blackish mid-lateral stripe.
Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
Lorentz's Rainbowfish lives in the northern part of New Guinea. Only a limited number of specimens have been encountered and much more research is necessary before we can know for sure how large the geographical range of this species actually is. The same is true when it comes to habitat; Lorentz's Rainbowfish might very well be present in several types of habitats.
Lorentz's Rainbowfish has been collected from the rivers Sermowai and Tawarin on the north coast of West Papua (Irian Jaya), and from Puive Creek in Papua New Guinea. Puive Creek is a tributary of the river Pual and the fish was collected near Vanimo, the capital of the Sandaun province.
In Puive Creek, Lorentz's Rainbowfish was collected from a part of the creek that is shadowed by dense rainforest. The water flows slowly and the bottom is covered in leaf litter from the surrounding forest. The fishes were found near logs and plants.
Lorentz's Rainbowfish is listed as “Not Evaluated” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Keeping Lorentz's Rainbowfish in aquariums
As far as we know, Lorentz's Rainbowfish has not been kept by aquarists. If you want to try keeping Lorentz's Rainbowfish, try to mimic its natural environment as closely as possible in the aquarium. Since Lorentz's Rainbowfis has been collected from a shadowy rainforest stream, it can be a good idea to use floating plants to soften harsh aquarium lighting. Also include plenty of driftwood and underwater plants in the set up. Hiding spots are important to relieve stress in the aquarium. Keep the water temperature fairly high, from 26 to 30 degrees C (79 to 86 degrees F). The water should be alkaline, pH 7.5-7.8 is recommended.
Breeding Lorentz's Rainbowfish
There are no records of Lorentz's Rainbowfish being bred in captivity.
Other New Guinea Rainbowfishes
Tami River Rainbowfish
Lake Wanam Rainbowfish
Goldie River Rainbowfish
Lake Tebera Rainbowfish
Irian Jaya Rainbowfish
Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish
Lake Kurumoi Rainbowfish
Pima River Rainbowfish
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Fly River Rainbowfish
Red Striped Rainbowfish
Van Heurn’s Rainbowfish
Central American Cichlids
Frogs and Turtles
Lake Victoria Cichlids
Marine Aquarium Fish
Responsible Fish Keeping
South American Cichlids
Tropical Fish Food