Two newly-discovered anglerfish species to be named after Taiwan

Picture shown is for illustration purpose only (Shutterstock)
Picture shown is for illustration purpose only (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Dec. 4 issue of the taxonomy journal “Zootaxa” will feature descriptions of two newly-discovered anglerfish bearing the species name “Formosa.”

Anglerfish, a diverse biological order found in oceans worldwide, are notable for a predation technique that involves the fish using a fleshy growth on its head to lure prey.

The anglerfish are among a total of 18 species and one genus recently discovered by National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium Associate Researcher He Hsuan-ching (何宣慶), along with a team of scientists from Japan, Australia and Thailand.

In an interview with CNA on Tuesday, He said that given Taiwan’s lack of recognition in U.N.-affiliated research institutions, he chose the name “Formosa” to let the international community see the contributions of the Taiwanese people.

He said he appreciated the double meaning of the word, which means “beautiful” in Portuguese, but has also been used as a name for Taiwan since the 16th century.

A native of Minxiong Township in Chiayi County, He added that he would like to pay tribute to his hometown if he makes any future discoveries in Chiayi’s coastal waters.

According to the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium, He is the director of the Taiwan Marine Biodiversity Research Plan and has discovered and described nearly one-tenth of the 300+ known species of anglerfish.

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