New Fish Species Named After Zorro

Posted on March 23, 2016

Myloplus zorroi

Scientists have named a new large species of Amazon fish that was first discovered in 2007. The fish is a pacu and is related to the piranha. It has been named Myloplus zorroi after the fictional Latin American character Zorro.

The fish has previously been linked to the incorrect genus. It was being treated as an undescribed Tometes species before the researchers correctly placed it in the Myloplus genus. The research team was led by Marcelo C. Andrade, Universidade Federal do Para, Brazil.

M. zorroi has distinctive teeth that enable it to crush seeds. It can reach up to 47.5 centimeters (about 1.5 feet) in length. It dwells on the rocky or sandy bottoms of moderately to rapidly flowing rivers at a depth of about 2 to 8 meters. The newly identified pacu has a reddish silver body with darker markings running along the upper side of its body. It has a pale yellow belly.

A research paper on the new fish species can be found here in the journal ZooKeys.

Photo: Douglas Bastos