The River Murray Rainbow Fish, Melanotaenia fluviatilis, is one of the many types of Australian Rainbow fish. This group mainly a tropical and subtropical group of fishes, but the River Murray Rainbow Fish’s range extends into warm temperate areas and it is able to take quite low water temperatures.
The Murray Rainbow Fish is endemic to Australia. (This means that it IS native to Australia and is NOT native to anywhere else.) It is found naturally in parts of the states of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
As its name suggests it is found in the River Murray. It is also found in many but not all of the Murray’s tributaries and several other river systems and lakes. It is not always clear whether populations of fish are natural, or have been introduced by Humans. In Australia, looking at the periodic major floods in this dry continent you can easily see a mechanism for fish to spread from one place to another. In the River Murray private observations suggest the River Murray Rainbow Fish is more widespread than the official statistics say. Murray Rainbow Fish can reach 10 cm (4 inches long), but most are smaller than this. The males tend to be bigger than the females. Murray River Rainbows do very well in garden ponds as well as aquariums.
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