One of the funnest aspects of staying on top of all the marine, ocean and aquarium news is becoming familiar with all the newly described species of fish, corals, and invertebrates. Last week (year) we covered the top 10 new species of reef critters and now it’s time for our recap of the new species of our scaly friends.
In previous years we sometimes broke down the different major groups of marine fish into those which dominated the headlines such as gobies and wrasses but for twenty twenty, we’re going all in with the top 20 new species of saltwater fish. Last year saw a lot of great new additions to the fish rosters of reef and marine environments with some surprising new species from well studied areas such as Botany Bay’s new red pipefish, and the splitting of the Caribbean yellowtail damselfish into a northern and a southern species.
Two pairs of Pseudojuloides were inducted into the Labridae family increasing the known number of pencil wrasses by a third with Pseudojuloides paradiseus being one of the most beautiful species in the genus. We passed over covering a handful of the nondescript dwarf and pygmy Trimma and Eviota gobies but one of the species we did write about, Vanderhorstia vandersteene is one of the most beautiful sand gobies discovered in recent years.
However by far the biggest ‘winner’ in the new species department for 2020 was the beloved Plectranthias perchlets which are found in deeper waters all over the world. We were treated to no less than four new species of Plectranthias with the beautiful and somewhat familiar P. polygonius from the South Pacific Ocean really grabbing our attention. Some other groups like the moray and garden eels each got new additions to their taxonomic rosters and we also enjoyed the description of a new species of Roa butterflyfish.