Bioluminescent Melanotaeniidae PROJECT BY wILLIAM yOUNG iv

This fish is known scientifically as the "Bioluminescent-Melanotaeiidae", but commonly as the light up rainbow fish. Bioluminscent comes from the meaning of the production or emission of light from a living organism, while Melanotaeniidae means rainbow fish. This fish is derived from these names because of the vibrant and rainbow colors it portrays, while also having the ability to emit light.

Ocean Zone and Habitat

The light up rainbow-fish's habitat is located in the the Abyssopelagic zone or abyssal zone which is an ecosystem located within the Benthic zone and Aphotic zone. The Abyssal zone is the portion of the ocean that ranges from about 4,000 m deep to about 6,000 m deep. In the Abyssal zone, known as the bottomless sea, the ocean stays in perpetual darkness as no sunlight reaches that deep. Some abiotic factors of the Abyssal zone is that the water is very cold and maintains at about 39 degrees fahrenheit. Also, water pressure increases tremendously as the depth of the ocean increases, making it quite difficult for organisms living there.

Physical Traits and Adaptations to the Environment

The Light-up Rainbow fish has many unique traits. The fish has 2 large eyes on the side of it's head, such as that of a hammerhead shark, giving it great binocular vision and incredible depth perception. It also uses it's big, thick fins as sensory organs. Because of the insignificant amount of sunlight that the Abyssal zone receives, the Light-up rainbow fish is able to display light from between its eyes on it's head when needed, due to the persistent darkness. The fish also has adapted to the abyssal zone very well. Due to the extreme low pressure, it must make sure that it contains the same amount of pressure inside it's body as the water pressure on the outside.


The Light-up Rainbow fish is a nekton, meaning that it moves around by swimming. It uses it's pelvic fins to not only swim against strong currents but to also have the ability to attach to objects if need be. They also have the ability to take different positions along the fish's surface.


The Light-up Rainbow fish has to make sure that the same amount of pressure with their bodies, is the same amount of water pressure that is outside or else they would not be able to survive. Water pressure increases every 33 ft in depth so this is why animals such as the Rainbow fish must be able to withstand the tremendous amounts of pressure that are faced.


Because food is so scarce in the Abyssal zone, the Light-up Rainbow Fish will feast on just about anything in order to satisfy its appetite. Many of the animals that live in this zone are very small in size, causing the Rainbow fish to need to eat large amounts of food in order to survive. The fish often uses its bioluminescence to lure its prey in then swallow them whole. It also tends to eat what is left from animals in zones above them, such as the leftovers from sharks or whales, which may include smaller fish, invertebrates, fish, shrimp, plankton or even crabs.


The Light-up Rainbow fish reproduces in a quite bizaar and rather slow way. The male will first bite into the lady fish and basically forces his face to her body and attaches it there and he stays there for 8 months constantly releasing sperm as she releases her eggs. After 8 months, the male Rainbow fish will then unattach himself to the female fish and search for another female that he may do this with for another 8 months. Ultimately, the baby Rainbow fish will grow up without their mother or father.

Defense Strategies

Although the fact that the Light-up Rainbow fish eats nearly anything can possible be looked up as a positive, it can also be reversed into a negative due to the fact that the same rule applies to other animals that live in the Abyssal zone. In order for the fish to avoid its fish, it uses its bioluminescence to it's advantage. Whenever the Light-up Rainbow fish senses that one of his predators is near he begins to flash his light very rapidly to draw the attention of the predator and then stopping leaving the predator confused on where he is. However, at the same time that it is flashing it's light, it is moving further away from it's predator while confusing it making for a clean escape away from its enemy. Also when it feels threatened, it takes its large fins and spreads them making it appear larger than its actual size.

Plankton, Nekton or Benthos

The Light-up Rainbow fish is an Nekton meaning that is a swimmer. Its over-sized fins allow it to travel swiftly against heavy currents and move throughout the water with ease.

Created By
William Young


Created with images by lpittman - "divers underwater ocean" • Unsplash - "scuba diver diver diving" • MartinStr - "air bubbles diving underwater" • floodllama - "There is always a bigger fish" • tristanf - "Little baby fish"

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