New fish species is named after Enya

The fish was discovered in the Orinoco River

New fish species is named after Enya

Enya arrives at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Centre | Image: USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images

US scientists have named a new species of fish from the Orinoco region after Irish singer Enya.

In 1988, she released a song titled "Orinoco Flow" from her second studio album, which earned a Grammy Award nomination.

The new species of fish is from South America's Orinoco River.

Leporinus enyae is a "beautiful little fish," said Michael Burns, lead author on the paper describing the new species from Oregon State University.

The finding has been published in the journal Neotropical Ichthyology.

"Whenever we were in the lab at Oregon State working on the fishes, Ben Frable would always play 'Orinoco Flow'", Mr Burns said, referring to another graduate student in the lab.

"I heard the song so often in the lab it got stuck in my head," co-author Marcus Chatfield said.

"Then I just started listening to it on purpose when I was taking measurements of the specimens.

"When the time came around for choosing names, it just felt right to name this new beautiful fish from the Orinoco after the artist who wrote that beautiful song."

The Leporinus enyae | Image: oregonstate.edu

A second newly discovered fish has been named Leporinus villasboasorum, in honour of the pioneering efforts of brothers Orlando, Cláudio and Leonardo Villas-Bôas to protect the Xingu River’s biodiversity and the rights of indigenous peoples there.

Both new species are comparatively small - about 8 to 10 inches long - although some members of their family can reach two feet in length.

The word Leporinus literally means 'little hare', in reference to the large teeth that protrude from the mouth, like those of a rabbit.