Okay, so I'm only doing this to beat Rick MacPherson. A recent publication in Zootaxa (Smith et al., 2008) has given us a new species of moray eel, Gymnothorax baranesi.
The new species has only been collected so far from a small area of the Gulf of Aqaba in the northern Red Sea, in moderately deep water. The picture above (from the paper) shows the male holotype, which is not quite mature but at ~86 cm long is quite big enough to not want to mess with. Full adults would probably be even larger. Gymnothorax baranesi* is distinguished from closely related species by details of the colour pattern and the arrangement of teeth.
*The authors don't suggest a vernacular name, but being a vertebrate someone's probably going to insist that it needs one. I suppose the main options are Baranes' Moray after the species name (named for Albert Baranes, a researcher on fishes of the Red Sea), or Aqaba Moray after the locality.
The discovery of this species highlights just how little we know about the world's biodiversity in another way, too. As the authors note in the paper, "The fact that the new species was collected in an area that has been well studied... for many years (and in fact, directly in front of a major marine laboratory) indicates how much we still have to learn..."
Smith, D. G., E. Brokovich & S. Einbinder. 2008. Gymnothorax baranesi, a new moray eel (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) from the Red Sea. Zootaxa 1678: 63-68.
Why I'm Marching for Science
1 day ago in Angry by Choice