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A report on the impacts on the importation of Leggett’s Rainbowfish, Glossolepis leggetti, for use as an ornamental aquarium species in the Australian Aquarium Trade. Prepared by Dave Wilson1*, Glenn Briggs2 and Danny Brown3


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A Report on the impacts on the importation of Leggett’s Rainbowfish, Glossolepis leggetti, for use as an ornamental aquarium species in the Australian Aquarium Trade.

Prepared by Dave Wilson1*, Glenn Briggs2 and Danny Brown3

* Corresponding author

1 Dave Wilson , Aquagreen , PO Box 756, Howard Springs, NT, 0835, (08) 8983 1483, aqua.green@bigpond.com

2 Glenn Briggs, Bay Fish Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, 3000, (03) 9310 3610, melbourne@bayfish.com.au

3 Dr Danny Brown BVSc (Hons) (MACVSc) BSc(Hons)(Zoology), 6 Bulic Ct, Glasshouse Mountains, QLD, 4518, geckodan@bigpond.com
1. Provide a summary of the proposed activity, including the intended use of the species (e.g. pet, commercial, scientific).
If accepted for import, Leggett’s Rainbowfish Glossolepis leggetti will be used in the live fish ornamental aquarium display trade. It is proposed to use the services of a major aquarium fish importer to import up to one hundred live specimens of Glossolepis leggettii from an approved source for imports of ornamental fish to start a breeding colony on Aquagreen premises, a Northern Territory Government licensed Aquaculture facility located at 28 Mahaffey Road, Howard Springs in the Northern Territory (NT Aquaculture Licence C1/533). The progeny of the original imports are to be offered to the ornamental fish trade through the wholesale supply service (supplied to the Australian ornamental fish industry by the same major importer located in Melbourne, Victoria).
The inclusion of Glossolepis leggetti on the allowable import list will then make the species eligible for inclusion on the NT list of allowable species under the provisions of Section 26 of the Northern Territory of Australia Fisheries Regulations (as in force 19 December 2001). The NT list of species of ornamental fishes suitable for use within the Territory Aquarium Industry are linked to the federal list of allowable live imports located within the provisions of section 303EB of the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 subject to approval of the Director of Fisheries in the NT.


2. Provide detailed guidelines on the way in which the species should be kept, transported and disposed of in accordance with the proposed activity.



    1. Import of the species

The specimens if approved for import will be imported under the same provisions and disease protocols as used for other ornamental fishes imported by Aquarium Importers and the current quarantine practices as outlined by Biosecurity Australia Advice 2009/24 of 2 October 2009.





    1. Keeping of the species

The species will be kept under the same conditions as any other members of the same genus would be kept in Aquaria. The Aquarium trade will treat this fish in a similar to other members of the genus Glossolepis which have been bred and traded in Australia from the 1970’s when they were first imported and continuously imported until 1986 when the importation of New Guinea rainbowfishes ceased. The original importers of this fish will comply with provisions under conditions as outlined in advice 2009/24 issued by Biosecurity Audstralia 02 October 2009. Leggett’s Rainbowfish, Glossolepis leggetti, will be kept under conditions that mimic the water quality and diet that are as close as possible to the limited knowledge of its natural habitat.



    1. Transport

The fish will be transported as per the conditions set down by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines and the provisions of AQIS policy document 99/2750a (AQIS 1999). The importation of the species will adhere to provisions of Biosecurity Audstralia advice 2009/24 issued 02 October 2009



3. Provide information on the taxonomy of the species.
3.1. Systematic placement of Glossolepis leggetti :
Class: Actinopterygii

Order Atheriniformes

Family: Melanotaeniidae

Genus: Glossolepis

Species Glossolepis leggetti Allen & Renyaan 1998
(Froese 2006)

Photo: Dr Gerald Allen


Leggett’s Rainbowfish Glossolepis leggetti was discovered by Gerald Allen and Samuel Renyaan in the Wapoga River system of Northern Irian Jaya during April 1998 while conducting aquatic fauna surveys facilitated by Conservation International. It was subsequently described by Allen and Renyaan (1998) as follows :
Description Summary

Length : 51 to 92 millimetres

Mouth generally small, teeth conical with slightly curved tips extending onto outer surface of lips. Body colouration on males iridescent green on back, dull orange to whitish on breast and lower side. A diffused blue midlateral band, its colouration most intense posteriorly and bordered immediately below by narrower stripe of light metallic blue. Sides with scattered dark blur flecks or narrow bars. Fins generally translucent although dorsal and anal may be bluish, particularly in adult males. Females are the same colour, but less ornate with a narrow midlateral stripe and with the dark flecks and narrow bars on the side considerably reduced.

Sexual dimorphism; Males generally posses a deeper body and have elongated posterior rays on anal and dorsal fins. Females are the same colour, but less ornate with a narrow mid lateral stripe and with the dark flecks and narrow bars on the side considerably reduced. It is expected that the colouration of the fish will be intensified by providing ideal aquarium conditions as is the case with other members of the Melanotaeniidae Family thus making it a valuable aquarium species.



4. Provide information on the status of the species under the Convention on International

Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES).
For example, is the species listed on CITES Appendix I, II or III, and if so, are there any specific restrictions on the movement of this species?
4.1 A search on the on-line database of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) red list of threatened species revealed no listing for Glossolepis leggetti
4.2 Leggett’s Rainbowfish Glossolepis leggetti is not a CITES listed organism. There is no record of Glossolepis leggetti on the CITES listed species data base available as an electronic publication on the World Wide Web at the universal resource locator http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/species.html information downloaded 07 March 2006
4.3 A search of Fishbase revealed no listing of Leggett’s Rainbowfish, Glossolepis leggetti, as threatened in its natural habitat (Froese and Pauly 2006).
5. Provide information about the ecology of the species.
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