Top 10 New Species of 2011
(An image of Halieutichthys intermedius taken by one of its discoverers, Prosanta Chakrabarty)
Name: Halieutichthys intermedius
Common Name: The Louisiana Pancake Batfish
How it made the Top 10: This species was discovered just before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 and its entire known distribution is in the region of the spill.It is also a remarkably hideous (in a good way) animal.It is flat like a pancake, spikey, hops on its fins and has huge bulging eyes.Its discovery and precarious existence due to the oil spill was the lead article on cnn.com and a number of other outlets.
Reference: Ho, H.-C., P. Chakrabarty and J.S. Sparks. 2010. Review of the Halieutichthys aculeatus species complex (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae), with descriptions of two new species. Journal of Fish Biology 77(4):841-869.
Type Material: Holotype – American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York, USA. Paratypes – AMNH; California Academy of Sciences (CAS), San Francisco, California, USA; Louisiana State University, Museum of Zoology (LSUMZ), Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA and National Museum of Natural History (USNM), Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA.
Type Locality: Gulf of Mexico, U.S.A., Florida, 29°31’N, 87°37’45”W.
Etymology: The specific epithet, intermedius, refers to ‘intermediate’ character states observed in this taxon when compared to H. aculeatus and H. bispinosus in the complex.