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Typhleotris Mararybe


Most of the 150 or so types of cave fish pale in comparison to a newly discovered species from an isolated karst sinkhole in south-western Madagascar.
The new species, Typhleotris Mararybe, is small, about 38mm, and combines dark pigmentation with an absence of eyes and well-developed sensory canals and pores on its head.
The resulting name, mararybe (or "very sick"), commemorates a strange and debilitating viral "sinkhole fever" that members of the field team suffered after diving in Grotte de Vitane on the Mahafaly plateau.
The sinkhole is a sacred site visited by locals who come to offer prayers. Interestingly, while locals were aware of other Malagasy cave-inhabiting fish before their discovery by scientists, T. Mararybe was unknown to them.