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Discovery and naming
Layman, of Geosyntec Consultants, and Rick Mayden, Department of Biology at Saint Louis University, studied the freshwater darters, most of which are native to the U. S. states of Alabama and Tennessee. While they were studying color variation of Etheostoma stigmaeum, the speckled darter, Layman and Mayden discovered that there were populations with enough variation that they should be described as unique species.
This species is one of five distinct species were named after former U.S. presidents and a vice-president, based on their leadership in conservation. E. obama was named after Barack Obama, for his work "particularly in the areas of clean energy and environmental protection, and because he is one of our first leaders to approach conservation and environmental protection from a more global vision," according to one of the scientists, Steve Layman, who named the new species.
E. obama males have bright orange and iridescent blue speckles, stripes, and checked patterns, with a bright fan-shaped fin that has orange stripes. The males can reach up to 48 millimetres (1.9 in) long, while the females reach 43 millimetres (1.7 in) long. Twenty-nine percent of the studied fish had palatine teeth..
- Crew, Becky (November 29, 2012). "All the Presidents’ fish: Five new species named after Obama, Clinton, Roosevelt, Carter and Gore". Scientific American Blogs. Scientific American. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Etheostoma obama" in FishBase. February 2014 version.
- Goldenberg, Suzanne (November 29, 2012). "Spawned in the USA: new fish named after Barack Obama". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2012.