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Pancake Batfish

Pancake Batfish Top 10 New Species of 2011

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

(An image of Halieutichthys intermedius taken by one of its discoverers, Prosanta Chakrabarty)

Name: Halieutichthys intermedius

Common Name: The Louisiana Pancake Batfish

Family: Ogcocephalidae

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.