Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New curator for Fishbase Sweden

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Fishbase welcomes Dr. Michael Noren as the new curator of Fishbase Sweden

 Michael Noren

Michael is an experienced zoologist who has frequently cooperated with Fishbase. “I started my career researching flatworms”, he explains, “but have always been interested in fish, and soon switched to doing research on carps and cichlids. I’m very happy for this opportunity to work with Fishbase, as a scientist I know how important it is with reliable and up-to-date information, especially in light of the strain the Earth’s aquatic habitats are under from climate change and the expanding human population.”

Michael takes over the position as curator for Fishbase Sweden after Fang Kullander, who passed away in 2010 after a long illness.

Most spectacular new (fish) species of 2009

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) has published its annual list of the ten most spectacular or interesting species discovered in the last year, and three species of fish made the list. They are interesting not only in their own right, but as it happens they also represent three areas of research where a lot of species are yet to be discovered.

Dracula minnow

Adult male Dracula minnow, less than 20 millimeters long. Photo: Mike Noren.

The Dracula minnow (Danionella dracula)
The Dracula minnow is a miniature fish, less than 20 millimeters long, from northern Myanmar, where it lives in relatively cool and fast-flowing streams. The name refers to the long “fangs” of the males, which reminded the scientist who discovered it of the canine teeth of the vampire Dracula. The “fangs” are, however, not used for blood-sucking, but may be used in fights between males, or perhaps during courtship and spawning. The Dracula minnow is one of a number of tiny miniature species of fish discovered in recent years, and without doubt many still await discovery.

Psychedelic frogfish. Photo: David Hall /

Psychedelic frogfish. Photo: David Hall /

Psychedelic frogfish (Histiophryne psychedelica)

Not all recently discovered species are small or inconspicuous, as the Psychedelic frogfish proves. Frogfish are small predators who spend most of their time among rocks, corals or algae, “walking” on their pelvic fins, or waiting in ambush for their prey. Although few frogfish are as spectacular as the Psychedelic frogfish, many are brightly colored but are still surprisingly hard to see when not moving. Not just frogfish, but numerous fish species of all kinds remain to be discovered on coral reefs, especially in the deeper areas of the reefs.

Omar’s banded knifefish

Omar’s banded knifefish (NRM 55841). Photo: Mike Noren.

Omar’s banded knifefish (Gymnotus omarorum)

Omar’s banded knifefish lives in rivers in Uruguay, where it uses electrical fields to communicate with each other, find its way, and detect food among the dense vegetation. For 30 years scientists have used this fish as a model organism for the study of electricity in fishes, all the time believing it to be Banded knifefish (Gymnotus carapo). It may seem odd that researchers could study a species for 30 years without noticing that it was, in fact, a completely different species, but it is common that species with large distributions on closer examination turn out to be several similar species mistakenly lumped together under one name. In the extreme case of the Banded knifefish, it turned out to really be 20 species!


IISE Top Ten Species of 2009

Dracula minnow (Danionella dracula) on FishBase

Psychedelic frogfish (Histiophryne psychedelica) on FishBase

Omar’s banded knifefish (Gymnotus omarorum) on FishBase

The Swedish FishBase Symposium 2009 - Sharks!

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

The annual FishBase Symposium organised by the Swedish FishBase team will be arranged on 19 October  2009 at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm.
This year we focus on the fascinating, little known, and highly threatened cartilaginous fishes, in particular the sharks. World renowned experts, among them Eugenie Clark, Leonard V. Compagno, and Sonja Fordham, will present shark research from different perspectives.  Presentations and filsm will be given mainly in English, but some in Swedish.

As usual the FishBase Symposium is open for all. There is no registration fee, and lunch is included. Programme and information about registration will be posted soon. Mark 19 October for FishBase Symposium 2009!