Our ichthyology Research Associate William Smith-Vaniz has described a new species of jawfish, Opistognathus ensiferus, in a paper published in Zootaxa on Nov. 22, 2016. This small jawfish was described from a single specimen from the Gulf of Mannar, the body of water directly between India and Sri Lanka.
Bill is a serious and prolific systematist who has produced a great deal of quality papers describing many jawfishes, and he just recently published a paper describing 21 new species of Owstonia (often commonly called bandfish) with David Johnson of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
- Opistognathus ensiferus Zootaxa link: http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4196.2.6
- Owstonia Zootaxa link: http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4187.1.1
Variations of the Owstonia name can be found in marine species, as well as amphibians and reptiles, and several birds. Alan Owston was a businessman who worked in Japan in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was also an amateur naturalist who was vastly interested in wildlife, and collected a great variety of specimens from the region. Much of his collections can now be found in museums around the world. They act as a snapshot of the biodiversity of the region of Japan and China that he worked and lived in.
Learn more about the Ichthyology Collection at the Florida Museum.