Scientists Declare a New Species of Multicolored Fish

A Maldivian scientist has officially announced a new fish species: the mesmerizing Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa, or rose-veiled fairy wrasse, named after the Dhivehi word for rose (finifenmaa). The rainbow-colored fish was first spotted in the 1990s but researchers believed it came from an already-known species. Now, scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, the University of Sydney, the Maldives Marine Research Institute and the Field Museum have amended that belief after careful study, concluding that the rose-veiled fairy wrasse is a unique species. Beyond its dazzling color, the fish is important as it represents the first time a new fish species has been scientifically described in a study by a Maldivian scientist, and its announcement contributes to conservation, taxonomy and the overall quest to understand the ocean. As co-author of the study Luiz Rocha says, “It speaks to how much biodiversity there is still left to be described from coral reef ecosystems.” Learn more about this stunning fish at CNET.

Image courtesy of Yi-Kai Tea