The Fish Retains the Name – Lepidocephalichthys zeppelini


Down by the seaside. See the boats go sailin’
Can the people hear, What the little fish are sayin’?


Florida Museum of Natural History researchers are heading up a $2.7 million global inventory of the largest order of freshwater fish with a grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant is part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory Initiative, which began in 2003 and aims to identify and catalog every species on Earth by 2025.

Especially those that remind you of Led Zeppelin.

“Scientists and students from the Florida Museum, Auburn University and St. Louis University, along with about 50 other researchers worldwide, will search for undiscovered species and study known species of the order Cypriniformes (pronounced sy-PRIN-uh-FOR-meez), which includes some of the most economically valuable fish in the world.

Through field work and examining institutional collections, Page expects to describe 1,000 new species in this order, which includes minnows, carp, loaches and suckers.

freshwater fish Florida Museum ichthyologist Larry Page holds a newly discovered Orange Loach, native to Thailand. © Photo by Jeff Gage.

As of August 2010, Page said four new species had been described. Each species was found first in institutional collections, then additional specimens were captured in the wild. The fish are found naturally in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Auburn University graduate student Justin Havird named one of the new species, Lepidocephalichthys zeppelini, because the fish’s pectoral fin reminded him of the double-neck guitar used by Led Zeppelin band member Jimmy Page.

“I’m a big Led Zeppelin fan, and I was listening to them while I was working on the fish,” Havird said. “The structure that makes this species unique just reminded me of the guitar that Jimmy Page played.”


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