Friday, September 9, 2011

Sand tilefish, Malacanthus plumieri, named by German naturalist Marcus E. Bloch after French monk Charles Plumier

The Caribbean sand tilefish, Malacanthus plumieri (Malacanthidae), was in 1786 named by German naturalist Marcus E. Bloch after the French monk, traveler, biologist and artist Charles Plumier (1646-1704) [1-4]. A detailed drawing of the sand tilefish, made by Plumier during his stay in Martinique, can be admired—among other amazing drawings of  fish species and their internal soft parts by Plumier—in a recent Natural History article by Theodore Pietsch [1]. A drawing footnote says that the sand tilefish grows as much as two feet long and makes a burrow in the sand in tropical and subtropical waters of the Western Atlantic.

Most sources refer to Charles Plumier as a botanist. He also deserves the attribute of an early ichthyologist or pioneering fish naturalist.

Keywords: ichthyology,  order Perciformes, tilefishes, eponym.

References and more to explore
[1] Theodore W. Pietsch: Plumier's Passion. Natural History July/August 2011, 119 (7), pp.30-36.
[2] Theodore W. Pietsch: Charles Plumier (1646-1704) and his drawings of French and American fishes. Archives of Natural Historyatural History February 2001, 28 (1), pp. 1-57. DOI: 10.3366/anh.2001.28.1.1.
[3] World Register of Marine Species: Malacanthus plumieri (Bloch, 1786) [].
[4] Pictures: Encyclopedia of Life | Caribbean Reefs | Caribbean Sea - BonaireNotice that Plumier's drawing contains more or different details (color patterns, shapes of body parts) than the photographies!

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