While conducting a survey in the western Pacific Ocean near Japan and the Philippines, researchers found several brightly colored fish with unique characteristics, which were a new species.
Researchers determined that the creatures are A new species of scorpion fish, Neomerinthe ignea, according to a study published November 6 in the Journal of Fish Research. Also known as the Pacific flame scorpionfish, this fish has previously been confused with another similar species of Neomerinthe.
The study said that neomerinths are usually found in tropical and temperate waters in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These creatures are distinguished by the presence of 12 spines on their dorsal fins, 24 vertebrae, scales and unique teeth.
The new species of Nemerinth is distinguished from others by its unique spines and scales, according to the study.
Scientists said that the color of these fish ranges from light orange to reddish white, and they have black spots on their bodies. Their eyes have black pupils and their irises are speckled with black and yellow bands radiating from the centre.
The researchers said they collected 38 samples of “small” fish, ranging in length from about 1.5 inches to about 3.5 inches. Pacific flame scorpionfish have a “steep” snout, a compact body, and a “large” mouth filled with short, pointed teeth.
The new species has claws covering its body, with particularly dense areas on the side of its body near its head and connected to its spines, according to experts. The size of the tentacles ranges from “large” to “fine”.
According to the study, scientists named the new species after the Latin word meaning “fiery” because of the color of its body and claws.
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