Melanotaenia eachamensis Allen & Cross, 1982

Lake Eacham rainbow fish



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Last record: 1987

Since rediscovered

IUCN RedList status: Vulnerable



Lake Eacham, Atherton tablelands, Queensland


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Allen, Gerald R. and Cross, Norbert J. (1982). Rainbowfishes of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Angus & Robertson, Australia.

Other references:

Allen, Gerald R. (1989). Lake Eacham rainbowfish rediscovered? Fishes of Sahul 5(3): 217-219.

Arnold, K. E. (2000). Kin recognition in rainbowfish (Melanotaenia eachamensis): sex, sibs and shoaling. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 48(5), 385-391.

Barlow, C. G., Hogan, A. E. and Rodger, L. J. (1987). Implication of translocated fishes in the apparent extinction in the wild of the Lake Eacham rainbowfish, Melanotaenia eachamensis. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38(6): 897-902. [Abstract]

Brown, Culum. (2003). Habitat–predator association and avoidance in rainbowfish (Melanotaenia spp.). Ecology of Freshwater Fish 12(2): 118-126.

Brown, Culum et al. (In press). Identification of the rainbowfish in Lake Eacham using DNA sequencing. Australia Journal of Zoology. [Abstract]

Brown, C. and Warburton, K. (1997). Predator recognition and anti-predator responses in the rainbowfish Melanotaenia eachamensis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 41(1): 61-68.

Caughley, A., Hume, S., & Wattam, A. (1990). Melanotaenia eachamensis: history and management of the captive stocks. Fishes of Sahul, Publication of the Australia and New Guinea Fishes Assn. (6): 241-246.

Gleeson, D. J., McCalum, H. I., & Owens, I. P. F. (2000). Differences in initial and acquired resistance to Ichthyophthirius multifiliis between populations of rainbowfish. Journal of fish biology 57(2): 466-475.

Hoser, Raymond T. (1991). Endangered Animals of Australia. Mosman, NSW: Pierson & Co. 240 pp. [pp. 58-59]

McGuigan, K., Franklin, C. E., Moritz, C., & Blows, M. W. (2003). Adaptation of rainbow fish to lake and stream habitats. Evolution, 57(1), 104-118.

Moritz, C., Zhu, D., & Degnan, S. (1995). Evolutionary distinctiveness and conservation status of the lake Eacham rainbowfish, Melanotaenia eachamensis. Unpublished report to the Wet Tropics Management Agency, Cairns, Queensland.

Pusey, B. J., Arthington, A. H., Bird, J. R., & Close, P. G. (2001). Reproduction in three species of rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae) from rainforest streams in northern Queensland, Australia. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 10(2): 75-87.

Pusey, B.J., J. Bird, M.J. Kennard and A.H. Arthington. (1997). Distribution of the Lake Eacham Rainbowfish in the Wet Tropics Region, North Queensland. Australian Journal of Zoology 45(1): 75-84.

Tappin, A. R. (1991). Keeping and breeding the "extinct" rainbowfish Melanotaenia eachamensis. ANGFA Bulletin 10: 3-4.

Wager, R. (1996). Melanotaenia eachamensis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 12 February 2013.

Zhu, D., Degnan, S. and Moritz, C. (1998). Evolutionary Distinctiveness and Status of the Endangered Lake Eacham Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia eachamensis). Conservation Biology 12(1): 80-93.


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