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General Information

Scientific Name:

Bedotia sp. nov. "Ranomafana" - Species is not formally described.

Reference to this species should always include sp. nov. thereby limiting the possibility of invalidating future scientific descriptions.

Common/Native Name:

Ranomafana Rainbowfish / Namorona Rainbowfish

Zono (ZOO-new) - translates to "small fish"; used for bedotiids in other regions of Madagascar

Type Locality:

Species not yet formally described.


Buh-DOUGH-tee-ah species novum Ran-o-ma-FAHN


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Species Details

Maximum Size:

4.0 inches (10.16cm)


Adults possess large sail-like dorsal and anal fins. Dorsal and anal fins typically quadracolour with black bands proximally followed by a band of silver tinged with orange/yellow. These are followed by an orange band and then a deep red distal margin. Caudal fins are black proximally with a silver-orange/yellow band followed by another black band and a deep red distal margin.

Population differences:


Sexual Morphology:

Females do not possess the large sail fins that distinguish males. Male colours are much more pronounced.

First Description:

Species is not formally described.

Reference to this species should always include sp. nov. thereby limiting the possibility of invalidating future scientific descriptions.


In the hobby this species can be found as:

Namorona River Bedotia

Ranomafana Bedotia

Sailfin Bedotia

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Habitat Information

Distribution/Collection Locales:

Ambatoharana Stream
- 1998 by A.R. Saunders and P.V. Loiselle.
Antajotenona Stream
- 1998 by A.R. Saunders and P.V. Loiselle.
Also Known From
- Upper reaches of the Namorona river (the main river that bisects Parc Ranomafana. Both Ambatoharana and Antajotenona are tributaries of the larger Namorona.

Conservation Status:

The IUCN Red List categorizes this species as Vulnerable. Degradation of habitat, introduction of exotics (specifically Xiphophorus helleri and Tilapia spp.) and fishing pressures all contribute to this categorization.

Typical Habitat:

Riverine; collected in areas with overhead vegetation and undercut banks.

Both the Ambatoharana and the Antajotenona had substrates consisting of sand and gravel with some areas of fine silts/mud. No notable instream vegetation was observed.

Typical Water Parameters:

pH: 6.0

Temperature: 61.0 °F

Conductivity: 12 µS

Data from Ambatoharana Stream

Cohabitates with:

Xiphophorus helleri

Gambusia holbrooki

Tilapia spp.

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Husbandry Information

Origin of Captives:

Captive populations in North America stem from a collection by Dr. Paul Loiselle (date unknown).

The Ranomafana Rainbowfish was originally imported into Europe by Dr. Jürgen Clasen in 1991 but this population was subsequently lost to the hobby (C. Mailliet, August 2006). Current European populations are thought to have originated from Dr. Loiselle's collection.


Large males can be somewhat aggresive to both females and suborniate males if kept in tight quarters.

Tank Size:

Compatable pairs can be kept and bred in 15-20 gallons. Populations of 3-4 males and 5-8 females require 50-75 gallons.


In the wild:

This species feeds on aquatic and terrestrial insects

In captivity

Flake food, hacthed brine shrimp nauplii, bloodworms, black/tubifex worms all readily accepted

Water Parameters:

pH: <7.3

Temperature: 70.0 - 80.0 °F, midrange preferred.

dKH and dGH: 0 - 4°

Tank Filtration/Set-up:

An undergravel filter with weekly 30-50% water changes is sufficient.

Breeding Requirements:

Can be bred in groups, but more luck has been recorded in small trios; in this case aggression must be monitored closely.

Yarn mops may be supplied, but successful reproduction has taken place with only gravel substrate available.

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