Name that fish contest

Three snailfishes to be named were collected during a National Marine Fisheries Service survey for deepwater shrimp in the Mariana Islands in the early 1980s and have yet to be named up to now.

The specimens were caught in shrimp traps at a depth of 3,000 to 4,000 feet.

They are now a part of the Oregon State University Ichthyology Collection.

There are three snailfishes to be named. The use of Chamorro or Carolinian is recommended. Combinations such as words for snail and fish or words for deep ocean could be used. The characteristics described for each fish could also be used. Island history, culture, or legends can be a source for fish names.

The naming committee in Guam will select the best three suggestions for each species and send them to the experts at Oregon State University who will make the final choices.

Snailfishes are in the family Liparidae and may be the most widely distributed family of fishes. They are found in warm to cold waters, from the intertidal to mid and deep waters. They are found from the Arctic to the Antarctic, in polar and temperate regions, and at depth in equatorial regions. The deepest fish ever seen was a snailfish filmed on video at 8,143 meters (26,716 feet) near the Sirena Deep in the Mariana Trench.

The body of a snailfish is long and without scales. Their heads are large with small eyes. The fish are fragile with jellylike skin so when they are caught in traps they do not arrive at the surface in good condition. The largest species can reach a length of 31 inches, the smallest is about 2 inches. The largest snailfish can weigh up to 24 lbs but most are considerably smaller.

Currently there are 30 genera described with about 410 species. New species continue to be discovered.

Limited to one name per fish per person. Specify Species A, B or C and justify the name you suggest in a short paragraph.

Submit your entry to Linda Tatreau lindian@teleguam.net. Last day to submit names is Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (PR)

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