Navigation Links
New catfish species named for museum mail supervisor
Date:6/9/2008

PHILADELPHIA He's not well known like President Bush and musician Neil Young, but Philadelphian Frank Gallagher now has something in common with them: He has a new species named after him.

Gallagher was The Academy of Natural Sciences' affable mailroom supervisor for 37 years before retiring in 2003. "They used to call me 'the grapevine,'" said Gallagher, because he not only distributed the mail to the staff but also passed along the latest gossip. Now he is the inspiration for Rhinodoras gallagheri, a new species of catfish described by Academy fish scientist Dr. Mark Sabaj Prez in the March issue of Copeia.

New species often are named for prominent scientists, generous benefactors or even spouses. A biologist recently named a new trapdoor spider after popular singer-songwriter Neil Young. A few years ago an entomologist named a new slime-mold beetle after the president. Rarely, if ever, has a new species been named for a postman.

"I wanted to honor Frank for his many years of dedicated service to the global community of taxonomists and systematists in handling the shipping and receiving of countless loans of biological specimens," said Sabaj Prez, who manages the Academy's collection of 1.3 million fish. "I was impressed by Frank's dedication, his love for fellow employees, and his keen interest in the science we do. I simply thought, here is a guy who should be honored with his own catfish."

The Academy's Ichthyology Collection is one of the oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, with 2,800 primary types. (A type is an original specimen from which the description of a new species is made.) The collection is an invaluable reference to researchers around the world who contact Sabaj Prez for access to specimens and data.

Rhinodoras gallagheri, commonly known the Orinoco thicklip catfish, occurs in the Orinoco basin in Venezuela and Colombia. It is a secretive fish that hides during the day in hollow logs or the deep, dark channels of large rivers. At night it sometimes can be found in swift-flowing rapids, foraging the bottom for aquatic insects.

Sabaj Prez discovered two specimens of this fish in the Academy's collection a few years ago and recognized them as distinct from other species in the same genus, Rhinodoras. The specimens had been collected in 1989 by former Academy scientists and their Venezuelan colleagues. Sabaj Prez secured more specimens from Venezuela and proved that the species was distinct.

Since retiring from the Academy, Gallagher has enjoyed tending to his garden in Southwest Philadelphia, his 40-gallon fish tank, some turtles and a dog. Of the honor of being enshrined with a thicklip catfish, Gallagher simply said, "I thought it was nice of him."

Before handing in the mailbag, Gallagher used to say to staff, "I've been here so long, I should be part of the collection by now." In the naming of Rhinodoras gallagheri, he now is.


'/>"/>

Contact: Carolyn Belardo
belardo@ansp.org
215-299-1043
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
2. Emphasis on conifer forests places multiple species at risk
3. One species entire genome discovered inside anothers
4. How the plant immune system can drive the formation of new species
5. Student study bolsters case for adding a rare sunflower to the endangered species list
6. Ecologist finds dire devastation of snake species following floods of 93, 95
7. Smithsonian scientists help lead effort to barcode worlds species
8. Species still have more viable offspring if they can choose their best mate
9. Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area
10. Smithsonian identifies invasive crab species in Panama Canal expansion area
11. New dinosaur species found in Montana
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New catfish species named for museum mail supervisor
(Date:4/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Forecasts by Product ... Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public ... & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business ... Are you looking for a definitive report on ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017 Today ... announcing that the server component of the HYPR platform ... for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million users ... including manufacturers of connected home product suites and physical ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection at our Dilworth, MN site. The inspection took ... This inspection was conducted as part of a routine Bioresearch Monitoring Program (BIMO) ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... in 2017, celebrating 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop ... company to a renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for ... damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have recently come together to ... for antibodies in the laboratory. , The team at Thermo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: