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New barb genus defined


Tropical fish now have a new barb genus defined for the barbs, moving nine species into the new genus Dawkinsia.  These species are all from Southeast Asia and have dorsal extensions.  A recent article found in Mother Nature News states:

Lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda, 56, said the new genus, named Dawkinsia, comprises nine species that are found only in South Asia and are characterized by long filaments that trail from the dorsal fins of males.
The fish have previously been classified under the genus Puntius, comprising around 120 species of small tropical fish known as barbs.
Species seem to change definition all the time. It is extremely difficult to keep up with all the changes as they occur.  Unfortunately the actual names of these previous Puntius species were not given in the actual article so it is impossible to identify whether there are any of these species available in your local live fish store.  Personally I am not aware of any male barb species in the home aquarium that grow any filament extension on their dorsal fins, so I don’t believe these are a common species for your tropical fish tank.
In a separate article published by the Richard Dawkins Institute, the genus is just one of three new groups:
New Barb genus - Richard Dawkins Institute

New Barb genus – Richard Dawkins Institute

Three new genera are proposed: Dawkinsia (type species Leuciscus fila mentosus) is distinguished by lacking rostral barbels; having the last unbranched dorsal-fin ray smooth; lateral line complete, with 18-22 scales; and a juvenile colour pattern that includes three black bars on the body.

New Barb genus named for personal reasons

The new barb genus that these fish were filed under after careful consideration is a leading evolutionist whose life is devoted to showing the diversity and amazing beauty found in the life forms all around us.  I am sure that there will be many people who might object to a genus being named after Richard Dawkins, whose personal beliefs are totally against most of the population.  But this is not a popularity contest and the people responsible are at liberty to name new species as they feel appropriate.
In a lot of cases a new species is named after the person who discovered the animal first and was able to forward he claim, but that is by no means a set law. Many people have named new species they have found after people who influenced them greatly or who they felt needed to be remembered for the work they have done.  Although, I do wonder if it is appropriate for any animal to be named after a person because they played great music:
I can understand the reasoning behind naming the new barb genus after Dr. Dawkins – and – I have the greatest respect for Bob Marley, but naming a parasite for him makes me wonder just a bit.  How about you?

About

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

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About blueram

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

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