Common name: black-banded rainbowfish
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Allen (1989); Allen and Cross (1982) provided a summary of most of the known species, including Melanotaenia nigrans. Distinguishing characteristics were also presented by Sterba (1973) and Merrick and Schmida (1984). Color photographs appeared in Merrick and Schmida (1984) and in Axelrod et al. (1985).
Size: 7 cm.
Native Range: Tropical and subtropical Australia. Discontinuous distribution in northeastern drainages of the Timor Sea, Gulf of Carpentaria, and Northeast Coast drainage divisions (Merrick and Schmida 1984).
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Melanotaenia nigrans are found here.
Table last updated 12/5/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: It was supposed that these fish were escapes from a tropical fish establishment (store?) in the St. Louis area, about 40 miles upstream (O'Donnell 1935; Smith 1965). However, an aquarium release cannot be ruled out.
Status: Reported from Illinois. Likely failed introduction, as no specimens have been reported since O'Donnell (1935)
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Allen, G.R. 1989. Lake Eacham rainbowfish rediscovered? Fishes of Sahul 5:217-219.
Allen, G.R., and N.J. Cross. 1982. Rainbowfishes of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.
Axelrod, H.R., W.E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J.G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.
Merrick, J.R., and G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian freshwater fishes: biology and management. Griffin Press, Netley, South Australia.
O'Donnell, D.J. 1935. Annotated list of the fishes of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 20(5):473-500.
Smith, P.W. 1965. A preliminary annotated list of the lampreys and fishes of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey, Biological Notes 54.
Sterba, G. 1973. Freshwater fishes of the world. English translation and revision from German. Two volumes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.
Revision Date: 6/28/2019
Peer Review Date: 1/30/2012
Nico, L., 2023, Melanotaenia nigrans (Richardson, 1843): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=776, Revision Date: 6/28/2019, Peer Review Date: 1/30/2012, Access Date: 12/6/2023
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.