New Fish Species Discovered

Dr. Richard Pyle
Dr. Richard Pyle
A new species of scorpionfish discovered on deep reefs off Maui
A new species of scorpionfish discovered on deep reefs off Maui

MAUI (KHNL)--Researchers in Maui just discovered a new species of fish hundreds of feet below the pacific ocean that looks a little like Finding Nemo's ancient grandfather.

It has red scales, white eyes, and scaly fins. And it's gone completely undiscovered, until now. The Scorpion Fish was just discovered in the ocean off Maui by self proclaimed 'fish nerd' Dr. Richard Pyle.

"Finding a new species of fish in Hawaii is very unusual especially one that's this large and fairly conspicuous," Pyle said. "We weren't expecting to find this."

Pyle and a team of researchers found the never seen before fish using the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory's Submarine.

"At this depth range of about 165 to 330 feet, which is significant because it's deeper than what most scuba divers can do and shallower than where most previous research with submarines go, so its a really unexplored zone of reef," Pyle said.

The submarine gave the researchers more time to look for unknown species.

"We will then study it, and we count all of its fins, scales, spines, and everything, and then we write it up in a scientific description and describe it. We give it a new scientific name and that way the rest of the world is aware that this thing exists," Pyle explained.

Researchers will continue to dive in the submarine to find out more about the composition of deep sea coral reefs and if they serve as a refuge for harvested fish.

The Scorpion Fish specimens are 4-5 inches in length and are being stored at the bishop museum in the fish collection. They will be preserved for years.