Even though the Maldive coast has hundreds of species of fish, one particular fish has been officially and scientifically described by a Maldivian researcher.
The new-to-science Rose-Veiled Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa), described earlier this year in the journal ZooKeys, is also one of the first species to have its name derived from the local Dhivehi language, “finifenmaa” meaning “rose,” a nod to both its pink hues and the island nation’s national flower.
According to study co-author and Maldives Marine Research Institute biologist Ahmed Najeeb:
“It has always been foreign scientists who have described species found in the Maldives without much involvement from local scientists, even those that are endemic to the Maldives. This time it is different and getting to be part of something for the first time has been really exciting, especially having the opportunity to work alongside top ichthyologists on such an elegant and beautiful species.”
Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, the University of Sydney, the Maldives Marine Research Institute (MMRI) and the Field Museum collaborated on the discovery as part of the Academy’s Hope for Reefs initiative aimed at better understanding and protecting coral reefs around the world.
(Featured image credit: Yi-Kai Tea/University of Sydney)