A new report has compiled the 201 species of freshwater fish not previously recorded by science that were described for the first time during 2022.
Shoal’s New Species 2022 report shines a light on these newly described species to help deepen human understanding of the richness of freshwater biodiversity on Earth and how these freshwater species interact with their environment and other organisms.
During the year 2022, taxonomists recorded 201 new species of freshwater fish as new to science, and many of the descriptions were the result of many years of hard work by researchers.
Highlights from the report include the jewel-like black tiger dario, the Juan Deriba killifish, which can jump out of the water and stay on dry land for hours at a time to avoid predation, and nine species from paracanthopoma, a genus of blood. -sucker catfish which, apart from vampire bats, are the only vertebrates with jaws on the planet that feed exclusively on blood.
Of the 201 fish described in the report, 88 were from South America, 68 from Asia, 25 from Africa, 9 from Oceania, 8 from Europe and 3 from North America. The total of 201 compares with the 212 new freshwater fish species described in last year’s inaugural report covering 2021.
Shoal is a global collaborative initiative supported by UK charity Synchronicity Earth and US non-profit organization Re:wild to halt extinction and restore populations of the most threatened freshwater species in nature
The Shoal New Species 2022 report is produced in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Freshwater Fish Specialist Group.
Shoal Executive Director Michael Baltzer said: “Reports of new Shoal species shine a much-needed light on a group of creatures that receive far too little attention.”
Kathy Hughes, Co-Chair of the IUCN Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, added: “It may surprise some to learn that hundreds of freshwater fish species are described each time.
course But it shows how much we still have to learn about what lies beneath the surface of the planet’s fresh waters.
“More than half of all fish species live in freshwater, which is remarkable considering that less than 1% of Earth’s water is liquid freshwater. However, historically humans have neglected and abused freshwater habitats, meaning many of these incredible species are at risk of being lost.The reports bring a much-needed spotlight on these species, which will ultimately give them a better chance of being saved “.