Atheriniform habitats are as diverse as the fishes themselves. From the crashing surf zone of a Pacific island, where one might observe the silvery flashes of a school of Iso, to the still depths of a rainforest pool in New Guinea, where shoaling rainbowfishes dominate, atheriniforms have adapted to a range of aquatic conditions. Marine silversides can be found in almost all nonpolar, shallow marine habitats, including reefs, estuaries, and lagoons, and in the surf along beaches. Only a few species live in the open water. Freshwater atherini-
Boeseman's rainbowfish (Melanotaenia boesemani) are found in New Guinea. Photo by Animals Animals ©M. Gibbs, OSF. Reproduced by permission.)
forms occur in a variety of temperate and tropical lakes and streams, including spring-fed desert waterholes in Australia and mountain lakes in Patagonia.
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