New Orinoco Fish Species Named After Singer Enya

Posted on July 19, 2017

A team of scientists from Oregon Statue University have identified a new fish species from the Orinoco River. The fish has been named Leporinus enyae. It was named after Enya's hit song, "Orinoco Flow."

Michael Burns, a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University and lead author on the paper, says in the announcement, "Whenever we were in the lab at Oregon State working on the fishes, Ben Frable would always play "Orinoco Flow."

Study co-author Marcus Chatfield adds, "I heard the song so often in the lab it got stuck in my head. Then I just started listening to it on purpose when I was taking measurements of the specimens. When the time came around for choosing names, it just felt right to name this new beautiful fish from the Orinoco after the artist who wrote that beautiful song."

Brian Sidlauskas, the curator of fishes at Oregon State University, study co-author and amateur Celtic harper, says, "We're also big fans of her music."

The fish is described in a research paper in Neotropical Ichthyology along with another new fish species found in the Xingu River of Brazil. The new fish species are are similar to established species, Leporinus desmotes and Leporinus jatuncochi, but scientists say there are significant differences in body shape, coloration, scale counts and genetics.

Here's the song that inspired the name of the fish:

Image: Michael Burns/Oregon State University

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