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Rainbowfish - Checkered (Melanotaenia splendida inornata)

Rainbowfish - Checkered (Melanotaenia splendida inornata)

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Checkered Rainbow

Melanotaenia splendida subsp. inornata were first described in 1875 as Aida inornata. During the 1950-60’s they were very popular with native fish keepers in Australia. They were then scientifically known as Aidapora carteri and commonly known as “Carter’s Sunfish”. They did not become known in the international hobby until around the mid seventies when they were displayed at the Berlin Aquarium. At that point of time they were known as Melanotaenia maculata (Allen, 1978). Gerald Allen’s revision of the family Melanotaeniidae in 1980 places them under their current name.

The different subspecies of Melanotaenia splendida are not easily identified in relation to each other as they display a great variation of colours and markings. Principal visual differences are body depth and colour pattern, which is variable depending on location and natural environment. At the same time, body form within each subspecies is variably and appears to be related to habitat conditions, which can sometimes make correct identification difficult. Males and females usually have different colours and this adds further difficulties to species recognition.

Colour variability in rainbowfishes has been a source of confusion to both aquarists and taxonomists studying their life history. Populations of almost every river system they occupy have their own distinctive body colour and pattern. Colour also appears to vary from population to population as well as within a population, particularly during different stages of the fishes’ life. This colour variability is related to age, sex, stress, habitat conditions and spawning.

  • Species – Melanotaenia Splendida Inornata
  • Common Name – Checkered Rainbow
  • Origin – Australia
  • Diet – Omnivorous
  • PH Range – 5.8 – 9
  • Temperature – Tropical and Coldwater 11°c – 34°c
  • Breed Type – Egg Scatterer
  • Max Size – approximately 10cm
  • Sex – Un-sexed
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