Description of Melanotaenia salawati, a new species of rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae) from Salawati Island, West Papua, Indonesia
Melanotaenia salawati n. sp. is described from 16 specimens collected at Salawati Island in the Raja Ampat Group lying immediately west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua (Indonesia). Melanotaenia salawati is allied to M. batanta and M. fredericki. Melanotaenia batanta occurs in the central part of Batanta, an island just north of Salawati while M. fredericki is found on the westernmost portion of the Bird’s Head Peninsula. The trio have a similar general body shape and lack pronounced sexual dimorphism. Melanotaenia salawati is distinguished from M. batanta by a shorter snout, a longer caudal peduncle, a longer dorsal-fin base, a longer second dorsal-fin base and more cheek scales. The new species differs from M. fredericki by a longer snout, a larger interorbital region, a shorter spine on second dorsal fin, a longer anal-fin base, more cheek scales and more gillrakers on the first branchial arch.