Biologists have discovered five new species of darters in freshwater river systems in the United States and have named them after five well-known U.S. political figures as an homage to their conservation efforts. The five newly-discovered species of darter were named after presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and former vice president Al Gore.
Biologists with the Saint Louis University announced the name choice and discovery in a press release on the university’s website, quoted below:
Richard Mayden, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biology, and Steven Layman, Ph.D., of Geosyntec Consultants in Kennesaw, Ga., recently discovered five new species of darters living in waters in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma. Darters are a group of fish found only in North America and are known for beautiful color patterns.
As the discoverers of the new species, Mayden and Layman got the opportunity to select their scientific name. The five new species scientifc and common names are:
- Etheostoma teddyroosevelt (Highland Darter)
- Etheostoma jimmycarter (Bluegrass Darter)
- Etheostoma clinton (Beaded Darter)
- Etheostoma gore (Cumberland Darter)
- Etheostoma obama (Spangled Darter)
According to the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, the new fish were named for politicians who have worked to support clean energy, conservation efforts and environmental protection policies. The two natural scientists also hoped that naming the new species after such well-known public figures will help publicize the need for recognition of biodiversity, conservation and maintaining environmental conditions conducive to the survival of biodiversity and humans.