New fish genus named after Heiko Bleher

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A new genus of freshwater silverside from the South Pacific has been named after Heiko Bleher.

Aarn and Walter Ivantsoff describe Bleheratherina pierucciae as a new genus and species of silverside from the Tontouta and Pirogues rivers in New Caledonia in the latest issue of Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology.

Bleheratherina pierucciae is a small silverside (about 47 mm standard length) distinguished from other silversides by a series of osteological (bone) characters, particularly the unusual structure of its mouth parts.

The species is named after Paola Pierucci, who collected the fish along with Bleher. Bleheratherina is unusual enough to warrant placement in its own subfamily, the Bleheratherininae.

For more information, see the paper: Aarn and W Ivantsoff (2009) Description of a new subfamily, genus and species of a freshwater atherinid, Bleheratherina pierucciae (Pisces: Atherinidae) from New Caledonia. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 15, pp. 13"28.

Picture kindly supplied by Heiko Bleher.