Melanotaenia wilsoni is generally yellow-brownish on the upper half of the body and silvery-white on the lower half. There are seven or eight black body stripes, the middle is full and thickest with a dark purple hue, the second stripe out from the middle both dorsally and ventrally is also full and black in colour, other stripes tend to be broken and black in colour; head darker brown, lips brown sometimes with a hint of orange; small orange to red mark on the upper operculum; iris silver to orangeish; fins pale, with distinct zonation in the dorsal and anal fins formed by a thick greyish to black band that can appear to cut diagonally across the fin beginning submarginal at the anterior part of the fin, there is a corresponding thick to thin area of light yellow colour above the band with often a whitish to light blue fin margin, and inside the black band is typically an area of pale yellow to orange with a line of scattered spots or blotches close to the fin base; an area of orange can be present on the breast into the pelvic fins, brighter in males.
Breeding males tend to develop an overall silvery-white body sheen and brighter white-yellow on the fins with the orange on the breast intensifying, mature females a bronze colour with intensified purple mid-lateral body stripe; otherwise sexual dimorphism is slight. A faint, rarely bright, white to yellow (sometimes pale orange) nape stripe can be ‘flashed’ by courting and sparring males.
- Species – Melanotaenia wilsoni
- Common Name – Little Rainbow
- Origin – Northern Australia
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6 – 6.5
- Temperature – Tropical 23°c – 24°c
- Breed Type – Egg Scatterer
- Max Size – approximately 4cm
- Sex – Un-sexed