Dwarf rainbowfish

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Dwarf rainbowfish
Diamant Regenbogenfisch (Melanotaenia praecox).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Atheriniformes
Family: Melanotaeniidae
Genus: Melanotaenia
Species: M. praecox
Binomial name
Melanotaenia praecox
(M. C. W. Weber & de Beaufort, 1922)

The dwarf rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox) is a species of fish in the family Melanotaeniidae, also commonly known as the neon rainbowfish. It is endemic to the Mamberamo River basin in West Papua in Indonesia[2] and common in the aquarium trade.[3]


A pair of male dwarf neon rainbows in a home aquarium

The dwarf rainbowfish occupies small, slow-moving tributaries in regions with rainforest.[4] It generally reaches up to 5 cm (2.0 in) in length,[2] but there are reports of individuals up to 8 cm (3.1 in).[3] M. praecox is considered to be an omnivorous species. Males tend to be brighter in color and have deeper bodies than the females. This species' is considered to be an egg-scatterer, so it is easy to breed.[3] Their bodies are bright blue and iridescent, and their fins are colorful. This species is active and is known to jump out of water.[5] They are native to a tropical climate. This species is harmless to humans, and is used commercially for aquariums and commerce.[6] They are known to be found in freshwater environments within a benthopelagic range.[2]


  1. ^ Allen, G. 1996. Melanotaenia praecox. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 4 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Melanotaenia praecox (Weber & de Beaufort, 1922) Dwarf rainbowfish". FishBase. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Melanotaenia praecox Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish". Seriously FIsh. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Melanotaenia praecox". Home of the Rainbowfish. Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Melanotaenia praecox". Animal-World. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dwarf rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox) fish profile". Guppies.ZA. Retrieved 10 April 2013.