Profundulus rei

English Name: 
Rei Killifish
Mexican Name: 
Escamudo de Rei
Original Description: 

  CALIXTO-ROJAS, M., LIRA-NORIEGA, A., RUBIO-GODOY, M., PÉREZ-PONCE DE LEÓN, G. & C. D. PINACHO-PINACHO (2023): Delimitation and species discovery in the Profundulidae fish family: Using genetic, environmental and morphologic data to address taxonomic uncertainty. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 186 (2023) 107856. pp 1-16 


  Following the authors, the "specific epiteth refers to the name of the kitten that was Miguel Calixto Rojas' companion for eleven years, during which his academic formation took place (BSc, MSc and almost all PhD), and was his constant attendant while measuring all the fish specimens for this work. The name was inspired by the fiction character Rei Ayanami, from the Japanese animation series Neon Genesis Evangelion." The name of the fish can simply be translated with "Rei's Profundulus".

  The genus Profundulus was erected by Carl Leavitt Hubbs in 1924 after recognizing differences to Fundulus in "several important respects". For him, "as the more generalized members of Fundulus, Cynolebias and some other american genera of the Cyprinodontidae, as well as the less specialized Goodeidae, resemble the species of Profundulus in habitus, it seems not improbable that Profundulus, of all american genera, diverges least from a general ancestral cyprinodont type." The ancient Greek word "pro" (πρό) means "before", so the name of the genus refers to this fact, that Hubbs believed that the members of Profundulus are basal to Fundulus. The genus Fundulus again can be derived from the Latin word "fundus" which means bottom; the suffix "-ulus" is also of Latin origin and indicates a diminutive. The genus Profundulus can therefore be translated with "before or older than the little one from the bottom". This odd name is in connection with the English expression "mud minnow" for Fundulus heteroclitus, with the name originating from its method of avoiding freezing during the winter months. When winter arrives, they burrow their way into the sediment and mud at the bottom of their habitat.