Kiunga ballochi was named in honour of Dr. David Balloch, a biologist with the Ok Tedi Mining Company. A few live specimens were brought back to Australia by Barry Crockford, but they were all destroyed in a tragic house fire in February 1983. Heiko Bleher visited this area in 1993 and despite sampling 37 streams along the entire stretch of road; he was unable to find any specimens. However, this species was recollected in 2007 by Mark Allen and Philip Atio.


Kiunga bleheri is currently only known from a few small creeks crossed by the Kiunga-Konkonda Road, approximately 10-12 km west of Kiunga, in the Fly River system. They were reportedly first collected by Heiko Bleher in 1991 from Tare Creek, about 12 kilometres north of Kiunga on Konkonda Road, Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately on that occasion the live specimens were lost by the airline. On a second attempt in 1993 he caught just three individuals and they didn't breed. Then in 2003 he managed to catch a larger number in the same stream and these were successfully transported to Europe. Additional specimens were also collected in 2003 and are now available in the aquarium hobby. They were collected in clear, shallow rainforest streams. Water parameters recorded in 2003 were: pH 5.9; conductivity 29 S/cm; temperature 27C. However, the full extent of their distribution range is unknown. This species was later collected by Charles Nishihira in 1994 while searching for Kiunga ballochi. It was again collected in 2007 by Mark Allen and Philip Atio.

References and further reading:
- Rainbowfish Website

Encyclopedia Aquatica