Monday, November 09, 2015

Large, colorful new fish species: the "Blue Bastard."

New fish pop up all the time, and sometimes it turns out we knew about them for a while and scientists hadn't had the time or inclination to think about them. The shoal bass of the United States (Micropterus cataractae, described 1999) is an example.  Another, must more distinct from the related fishes, is the blue bastard.  Australian fishers had tales for a long time of a blue fish up to a meter long that was rare and hard to catch. Finally, someone sent good photographs to the Queens Museum.  It turns out 17 specimens were in museums already, labeled as other members of the so-called "sweetlips" family, which do indeed have big rubbery lips.  As Queens Museum scientist Jeff Johnson explained, the fish is now formally named Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus. “Careleo is blue. And nothus is bastard." he said. 

(Photograph Queens Museum, Presumed available for nonprofit/educational postings.) 

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