Solomon Islands




Jennifer Hales and Aaron Jenkins contributed information to this text.


Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands

Major Habitat Type

Tropical and subtropical coastal rivers

Drainages flowing into

Pacific Ocean

Main rivers to other water bodies

The ecoregion contains mainly small rivers, some of the largest of which are Lunga, Matanikau, and Tenaru on Guadalcanal.



The Solomon Islands encompass a group of roughly 1000 islands in the South Pacific Ocean east of Papua New Guinea. The ecoregion extends from Bougainville (North Solomons) in the northwest to San Cristóbal (Makira) in the southeast.


This ecoregion’s topography ranges from low-lying atolls on the smaller islands to rugged volcanic peaks on the larger islands. The highest peak is Mt. Popomanaseu (2,335 m) on the island of Guadalcanal. Renell Island is the largest raised coral atoll in the world.

Freshwater habitats

Lagoons and mangrove swamps characterize the coastlines, whereas short and seasonally torrential rivers cut deep valleys in the interior of larger islands. The brackish Lake Tegano, located on Rennell Island, was once a lagoon.

Terrestrial habitats

The main terrestrial ecoregion of the Solomon Islands is Solomon Islands rain forests [AA0119].

Description of endemic fishes

There are presently four potential likely endemic species for the Solomons (Sicyopterus sp. A and B,  Lentipes sp. and Stenogobius sp) but their status as valid species still needs to be ascertained.

Other noteworthy fishes

There are at very least two species of freshwater fishes that should be considered endangered. The first is the IUCN Red listed Otomebora mullet (Liza melinoptera) and the second is Lentipes sp. only known from Rendova Island.

Justification for delineation

The Solomon Islands ecoregion was defined on the basis of distinctive (endemic or near-endemic) fish faunas.

Level of taxonomic exploration

Low. The freshwater fishes of the Solomon Islands have received very little attention over the years. The earliest mention of ichthyofaunal surveys of Solomon Islands is Macleay (1879) followed by Herre (1931) but their primary taxonomic emphasis was on marine ichthyofauna.  From this time there is rare sporadic mention of freshwater fishes in the Solomon Islands primarily only within the taxonomic literature. Over the last few years Dr. Gerald Allen (Conservation International) and David Boseto (University of the South Pacific) have surveyed a set of streams in the Solomons Islands with plans to return with Aaron Jenkins (Wetlands International) for further survey work. Species lists were compiled from past literature, Fishbase and the species lists of Boseto and Allen (2005).


  • Macleay, W. (1879). "Notes on some fishes from the Solomon islands" Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 4 (1) pp. 60-64.
  • Herre, A. W. C. T. (1931). "A check list of fishes from the Solomon Islands" J. Pan-Pac. Res. Inst. 6 (4) pp. 4-9.
  • Boseto, D.;Allen, G. (2005). "Annotated checklist of fishes recorded during 2004 and 2005 surveys of Solomon Islands" In preparation.