Scripps scientist Phil Hasting found pleasure in selecting a name for the newly discovered species of fish. His current experience of being contained in the four corners of his house gave him the idea to name the new sea creature Pandemic Blenney.
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Pandemic Blenney (Coralliozetus clausus) are small in size at a maximum of 18 millimeters long. They are said to be found only around Cocos Island in Costa Rica.
“One of the pleasurable tasks of describing a new species is selecting a unique name for it. I originally thought about naming the fish in reference to its small size – the largest specimen is only 15 mm long,” said Hastings. “But then, when considering its restricted distribution, I decided to give it the Latin specific name of clausus which means ‘enclosed’ or ‘having been shut off.’ As I stared at the four walls of my home office, I thought about my own and others’ isolation during the pandemic, so I gave it the common name of Pandemic Blenny.”
(Image Credit: UC San Diego News Center )