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New fish species discovered in Amazon named for OSU scientist

A newly discovered fish species has been named after an Oregon State University researcher. (Jose Birindelli)
By Theresa Hogue, Oregon State University, Thursday, August 8, 2019

A new species of fish discovered in Brazil’s Amazon basin by two Brazilian researchers has been named in honor of an Oregon State University researcher.

Brian Sidlauskas, OSU associate professor and curator of fishes with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, is a colleague of the Brazilian researchers and has spent nearly two decades studying fish in Central and South America.

Leporinus sidlauskasi is part of the genus leporinus, which means “little hare” in reference to its rabbit-like teeth. It was found in the Teles Pires River in the Amazon basin, a tributary of the Amazon that Sidlauskas hasn’t yet explored.

The Oregon researcher has, himself, discovered several new fish species. He was part of a team in 2017 that identified a new species and named it after the Irish singer Enya, because it was found in the Orinoco River (one of Enya’s hit singles was “Orinoco Flow”). Now Sidlauskas joins Enya in the honor of having a fish named for him.

Researchers identified it as a new species based on its unique color pattern as well as its number of teeth and scales. It was found by Heraldo Britski and José Birindelli near the Sete Quedas Rapids. Birindelli was with Sidlauskas when the Enya fish (Leporinus enyae) was discovered.

“This is one of the highest honors in my career to date, and I feel rather overwhelmed to know that such a species will carry my name long after I’m gone,” Sidlauskas said. “The fact that the newly discovered fish belongs to a family that I have studied for years makes the honor very personal, and also indicates that my international colleagues have found my scientific contributions helpful and meaningful, and have embraced me as part of the community of scholars studying the incredible diversity of the neotropics.”

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