New Genus of South Asian Fish Named After Richard Dawkins

That would be the Dawkinsia Srilankensis, “a new genus of fish comprised of nine species found only in South Asia.”

[Rohan] Pethiyagoda, an ichthyologist and internationally acclaimed conservationist, said extensive studies in India and Sri Lanka showed that the level of diversity among such fish was “much greater than previously suspected”.

This was partly the reason that the study group had chosen to name the new genus after the 71-year-old Dawkins, the British author of the anti-religion polemic, “The God Delusion”.

“Richard Dawkins has through his writings helped us understand that the universe is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any religion has imagined,” Pethiyagoda told AFP on Monday.

“We hope that Dawkinsia will serve as a reminder of the elegance and simplicity of evolution, the only rational explanation there is for the unimaginable diversity of life on Earth,” he said.

Your move, Creationists.

So what’s this genus like?

Male Dawkinsia barbs advertise their fitness by growing long fin filaments that make them more attractive to females but also dangerously conspicuous to predators.

Dawkins, you sly fox, you…

(I’m sure there’s a joke about the name “Richard,” too, but I’m just going to skip over that possibility entirely.)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • James

    I’ve got a tank full of these fish.  They are currently commonly known as an arulius barb.

  • J. R. Boedeker

    Lemme guess. You turned off the comments on the UNLV article because you didn’t want people talking about how nice of a plaque that is. 

  • Hemant Mehta


  • northierthanthou

     I covet that damned plaque so much! I shall talk about it here now if I have to.

  • chicago dyke, orphan

     dangerously conspicuous to predators.

    so the theory is that the grrl fish like boy fish who are flashy, bad ass risk takers? fascinating. 

  • flyb

    “Rohan Pethiyagoda, an ichthyol… itchy… pethy….” well, not gonna work here anymore anyway…