Seven new species of the wrasse family (Labridae) are described in the latest edition of the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. One of them – Novaculops alvheimi – has been named after Oddgeir Alvheim, who discovered the species when sorting a trawl catch on board Dr Fridtjof Nansen.
- I was over the moon. This really is great, says Oddgeir Alvheim.
The new fish species was discovered on the Mascarene banks between Mauritius and the Seychelles in 2008.
- I've been working with fish all my life, so to have a fish species named after you is quite something,” says Alvheim.
This is not the first time he has lent his name to a new species, however. Turbonilla alvheimi is a two millimetre long sea snail that Alvheim helped discover in the waters off West Africa a few years ago. But fish are much more fun.
Never seen before
- The Mascarene banks had not been thoroughly explored before, and the hard seabed there made trawling difficult. So there was a good chance of finding undescribed species. When we then came across this 10 cm long wrasse I said that I had never seen one of those before, Alvheim explains.