Researchers from Australia have discovered a new orange cod species during a recent expedition to the chain of volcanic Kermedac Islands. If you are unfamiliar with this area, they are about 500 miles north of New Zealand.
Carl Struthers, who photographed the bright orange cod said,” I knew as soon as I saw it in the collecting net that it was something different Ė it really stood out. Iíve been doing a lot of work on that group of fishes, and Iíve never seen any other Morids from New Zealand that are such a brilliant reddy-orange”. (Source: Sciblogs.co.nz)
A rock cod called Lotella rhacina is found off the coasts of New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania. It and the new orange Lotella are not from the same Gaddus cod classification, but might be called cod due to some confusion over naming fish for marketing them for food to consumers. Some people might be reacting to the new cod with visions of eating it, but fortunately its’ habitat is far enough away from civilization, it isn’t likely to be showing up on menus any time soon. The Kermadecs were also declared a marine reserve many years ago.† Actually two other new species may also have been discovered, but apparently it isn’t as clear they are actually new. The fact the islands are now protected is great news, as sometimes new species are discovered right as they are on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss.
(Just as a side note, even though they are remote, cats, rats and goats introduced to the islands have devastated the local trees and bird populations, and the government is trying to restore the natural balance to the islands by eliminating invasive species.)
Image Credit: Carl Struthers