Review of recent work on Bedotia spp. (Teleostei: Atheriniformes), both described and recently collected

Christophe Mailliet and Aleksei Saunders

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 45-64, Volume 9, Issue 2 – December 2004


A number of newly discovered and mostly undescribed Madagascar rainbowfish of the endemic genus Bedotia (Teleostei: Atheriniformes) from the African island of Madagascar are introduced, and a review of the status of the currently valid species is provided. Information about habitats and conservation issues, systematic relationships and biogeographical aspects, as well as care and breeding is also given. The diversity and variability within the genus Bedotia is documented, outlining the need for appropriate conservation strategies both in and out site, given the threats to their natural habitats. Similarities in behaviour and reproduction with the Melanotaeniidae of Australia and New Guinea are described which could support recent research indicating close relationships between the Malagasy and Australian / New Guinean rainbowfish and suggesting inclusion of the Bedotiini of Madagascar in the family Melanotaeniidae. A general grouping of the currently known Bedotia species according to body and fin shape as well as general coloration patterns is also proposed.

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