Yapen Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia japenensis
Yapen Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia japenensis

Yapen Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia japenensis

The Yapen Rainbowfish was scientifically described by Allen & Cross in 1980. Its scientific name is Melanotaenia japenensis. The species was first collected for scientific purposes in 1955 by Boeseman, the former Curator of Fishes at the Leiden Museum.

The Yapen Rainbowfish can reach a length of at least 11 cm (4.3 inches). The fish has a pale purple colouration with silvery reflections on the back and sides. Between each horizontal row of scales, there is a red-orange stripe.

Dorsal, anal and caudal fins are red to orange on male specimens.  

Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Yapen Rainbowfish lives on Yapen Island in northern Western New Guinea (formerly known as Irian Jaya). This island is roughly 160 km (100 miles) long and 20 km (12 miles) wide. It is a part of the Schouten Islands archipelago in the Cenderawasih Bay and separated from the mainland by the Yapen Strait. The island is mountainous and the central mountain range is drained by a multitude of streams and rivers. The highest point rise up 1,496 meters (4908 feet) above sea level, but the Yapen Rainbowfish is typically found at lower elevations close to the coast.  The typical Yapen Rainbowfish habitat is surrounded by dense rainforest vegetation and features clear water over a rocky bottom.

The Yapen Rainbowfish is listed as “Not Evaluated” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Keeping Yapen Rainbowfish in aquariums
The Yapen Rainbowfish is rare in the hobby, but it is not because it’s difficult to care for. Mimic the natural habitat of the fish when you set up the aquarium and keep the water temperature in the 24-28 degrees C (75-82 degrees F) range. The water must be alkaline, from pH 7.2 to 7.4.   

Breeding Yapen Rainbowfish
We have no information about Yapen Rainbowfish breeding in aquariums.

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Other New Guinea Rainbowfishes

Axelrods Rainbowfish
Bleher’s Rainbowfish
Bulolo Rainbowfish
Higlands Rainbowfish
Silver Rainbowfish
Barred Rainbowfish
Lorentz’s Rainbowfish
Sentani Rainbowfish
Red Rainbowfish
Spotted Rainbowfish
Sepik Rainbowfish

Tami River Rainbowfish
Ramu Rainbowfish
Lake Wanam Rainbowfish
Threadfin Rainbowfish
Northern Rainbowfish
Ayamaru Rainbowfish
Angfa Rainbowfish
Arfak Rainbowfish
Boeseman’s Rainbowfish
Corona Rainbowfish
Waigeo Rainbowfish
Serong Rainbowfish
Goldie River Rainbowfish
Lake Tebera  Rainbowfish
Irian Jaya Rainbowfish
Strickland Rainbowfish
Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish
McCulloch’s  Rainbowfish
Mayland’s Rainbowfish
Misool Rainbowfish
Mountain Rainbowfish
Ogilby’s Rainbowfish
Oktedi Rainbowfish
Parkinson’s Rainbowfish
Lake Kurumoi Rainbowfish
Pima River Rainbowfish
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
Fly River Rainbowfish
Red Striped Rainbowfish
Van Heurn’s  Rainbowfish