OSU Researchers Name Newly Discovered Fish after Singer Enya

Jul 17, 2017

Leporinus enyae
Credit Oregon State University

Irish singer songwriter Enya has a new item to add to her long list of accolades – a newly discovered species of fish named in her honor by researchers at Oregon State University.

Leporinus enyae was discovered in the Orinoco River in Venezuela by a team of researchers from OSU and Brazil. Curator of fishes at OSU Brian Sidlauskas says the idea for the name came to the team while they were working on the fish in the lab.

"One of the students in my lab really likes to play one of Enya's songs called 'Orinoco Flow,' and so we listened to that song a great number of times while we were working on the paper," says Sidlauskas. "So we thought it would be appropriate to honor one of our favorite singers and also someone who had honored that river by naming this fish after her."

The fish has yellow and black stripes down its body with teeth that protrude slightly like those of a rabbit. The team also discovered another related fish in the Xingu River in Brazil. The second fish is named for the Villas-Boas brothers who were champions of the Xingu River’s biodiversity and the rights of its indigenous people.