Adult males have a deeper body and are more brightly coloured than females, especially when breeding. Males often have red spots on the caudal, dorsal and anal fins, and develop dark fin margins when breeding.

Crowley, L.E.L.M., Ivantsoff, W. & Allen, G.R. 1986. Taxonomic position of two crimson-spotted rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi and Melanotaenia fluviatilis (Pisces: Melanotaeniidae), from Eastern Australia, with special reference to their early life-history stages. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37: 385-398 figs 1-6

Meristic features:Dorsal-fin rays: V-VIII; I, 8-13Anal-fin rays: I, 15-21Pectoral-fin rays: 12-15Caudal-fin rays: 15-17Gill rakers: 11-12Vertebrae: 27-32Gill rakers: 11-12

Male and female Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, from Kangaroo Creek. Source: Eileen Kortright / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY Attribution

Warburton, K. & Madden, C. 2003. Behavioural responses of two native Australian fish species (Melanotaenia duboulayi and Pseudomugil signifer) to introduced poeciliids (Gambusia holbrooki and Xiphophorus helleri) in controlled conditions. Proceedings of The Linnean Society of New South Wales, 124 : 115-123.

Males more brightly coloured than females, especially when breeding; colour patterns vary with locality; dorsal surface generally olive brown, sides silvery to greenish blue, ventral surface white, yellow orange toward tail; thin reddish stripe between each horizontal scale row; usually with a red spot on upper gill cover and a diffuse black midlateral stripe; fins clear in juveniles and females; males often with red spots on caudal, dorsal and anal fins.

Leggett, R. & Merrick, J.R. 1987. Australian Native Fishes for Aquariums. Artarmon : J.R. Merrick Publications 241 pp. 142 figs.

Ozcam map of Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp.

Two separate dorsal fins; origin of first dorsal between origins of pelvic and anal fins; origin of 2nd dorsal fin behind origin of anal fin; dorsal fins separated by a small gap; anal fin long-based; caudal fin slightly forked; males with higher first dorsal and pointed tips of anal and dorsal fins, rounded in females.

A controlled study comparing six native fish species with the introduced (and invasive) eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) on consuming larvae of the common banded mosquito (Culex annulirostris) in Brisbane found that the crimson-spotted rainbowfish ate more mosquito larvae than all other species tested and is a good candidate for mosquito control.[5]

The Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish is olive brown above, silvery on the sides and white below. There is a dark stripe along the side and a red spot on the upper operculum. The scale margins are brownish.

Spawning occurs prior to summer rains, and eggs adhere to filamentous subsurface vegetation and floating plant roots.

Identifying features:Body olive-brown above, silvery to greenish-blue on sides and white below - becoming yellowish-orange towards rear of body; Sides with a darkish midlateral stripe and thin reddish stripes;Gill cover with a reddish spot.

Crimson-spotted rainbowfish are still very popular with aquarists internationally. Australian breeders place greater emphasis of preserving the local variants. In their native range, they are also released into Australian dams to control mosquitoes using local wild stock to prevent endemic variants of M.duboulayi from being lost by genetic contamination from non-local forms.[6]

Castelnau, F.L. de 1878. On some new Australian (chiefly) freshwater fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 3(2): 140-144 (originally described as Atherinichthys duboulayi)

Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp., 63 pls.

M.duboulayi is omnivorous. Their diet comprises all kinds of foods, especially invertebrates and algae, and in captivity they eat flake food. They like open water and may form small groups around submerged logs and subsurface vegetation.

A popular aquarium fish with a highly variable colour pattern depending on locality. Males and females are markedly sexually dimorphic.

Body relatively elongate, slender, laterally compressed, becoming deeper with age; males with deeper body; mouth oblique, extends back to almost below anterior margin of eye; upper jaw protruding; jaw teeth conical to canine-like in several rows extending outside mouth; teeth present on vomer and palatines; head moderately sized, eye relatively large; lateral line absent.

Entire lifecycle is completed in freshwater; sexually mature at 10-12 months; spawns from late winter to summer with peak spawning activity in spring and summer; spawning is likely to occur in beds of aquatic macrophytes and submerged vegetation where eggs are deposited within 10cm of the water surface.Eggs are relatively large, on average around 0.93-1.41 mm diameter. Eggs are demersal with adhesive filaments.Larvae hatch after 5-10 days at 3.7-4.2 mm TL.

Amandus Rudel introduced the species to international aquarium hobbyists when he sent specimens to Germany in 1927, and it went from there to North America. In 1930, it was found as an escapee in the Mississippi River.

Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish inhabit a range of freshwater environments environments including rivers, creeks, drains, ponds, dune lakes and reservoirs in sandy coastal areas and inland forest habitats.

Atherinichthys duboulayi Castelnau, 1878, Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. (1)3(2): 143.Type locality: Richmond River, NSW.

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Scales large, extending to cheek; vertical scale rows 33-36; horizontal scale rows 11-13.

Omnivorous feeding on terrestrial insects, aquatic insects, algae, charaphytes, macrophytes, micro and macro crustaceans, fish eggs, terrestrial vegetation and molluscs.

The Atlas of Living Australia is a node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

The species is endemic to Australia. It is found in coastal freshwaters from southern Queensland to northern New South Wales.

The crimson-spotted rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi), known less commonly as the Duboulay's rainbowfish,[1] is a species of freshwater rainbowfish endemic to eastern Australia. M. duboulayi has also been kept in aquariums since the early 20th century, and is the original Australian rainbowfish.

Crimson-spotted rainbowfish were favorably described by Castelnau in his initial description: "...He says the colours during life were most beautiful; that a broad stripe of magnificent blue ran along the sides, and two transverse bands of rich scarlet extended on the upper part of the fish towards the middle of the body."[2]

Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish grows to 9 cm in length but individuals of 6 cm to 7 cm are more common.

The Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish has a dark stripe along the side and a red spot on the upper operculum. Males have a series of red stripes along the sides of the body and red spots on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins. The species is endemic to Australia.

Crimsonspotted Rainbowfish

datasets have provided data to the for this species.

Males have a series of red stripes along the sides of the body and red spots on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins. When males display to females, all their fins, with the exception of the pelvics, have black margins. The fins of females and juveniles are clear.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

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Caller, G. & Brown, C. 2013. Evolutionary Responses to invasion: cane toad sympatric fish show enhanced avoidance learning. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54909. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054909

Endemic to freshwaters of eastern Australia, from Mary River, Qld to Macleay River, NSW.