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RED LAZER RAINBOW (Melanotaenia Rubrivittata)

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A new species of melanotaeniid rainbowfish, Melanotaenia rubrivittata, is described from the
Wapoga River system of northwestern Papua Province, Indonesia. The new taxon is described
on the basis of 26 specimens, 18.0–48.7 mm SL, collected from two sites near the Tirawiwa
River. It is similar to M. praecox in general appearance and morphology, but differs in
possessing red body stripes, a more slender body shape in adult males, a slightly longer snout,
and fewer lateral scales. Genetic analysis provides additional evidence for the separation of
these taxa.

Distribution, habitat and zoogeography: The new species is known only from the
Wapoga River system in the vicinity of Siewa, former site of a Freeport Mining Company
exploration camp. This location (Fig. 1) is approximately 100 km northeast of Nabire, a relatively
large town lying on the edge of Cenderawasih Bay. The type locality (Fig. 7) is situated
about 130 km upstream in the Wapoga system at an elevation of approximately 70 m on the
edge of a broad floodplain adjacent to nearby foothills. At the time of collection (April 1998)
it consisted of a small pond, resulting from previous flooding of the nearby Tirawiwa (sometimes
spelt Tiawiwa) River.