George S. Myers

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Dr. George Sprague Myers (February 2, 1905 – November 4, 1985) spent most of his career at Stanford University, where he was one of the leading American ichthyologists of the twentieth century. He served as the editor of Stanford Ichthyological Bulletin as well as president of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Myers was also head of the Division of Fishes at the United States National Museum, and held a position as an ichthyologist for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. He was also an advisor in fisheries and ichthyology to the Brazilian Government.

He was a prolific writer of papers and books and is well known to aquarists as the man who first described numerous popular aquarium species such as the flame tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus), the black-winged hatchetfish (Carnegiella marthae), the ram cichlid (Microgeophagus ramirezi) and, most notably, the neon tetra. He also erected the genera Aphyosemion and Fundulopanchax, which include dozens of widely kept killifish species. He is perhaps best known to aquarists for his collaborations with William T. Innes who wrote the classic book Exotic Aquarium Fishes. Myers served as the scientific consultant for this seminal work in the aquarium literature and, after Innes retired, served as the editor for later editions. When Myers described the neon tetra in 1936, he named it Hyphessobrycon innesi in honor of Innes. The species was later moved to the genus Paracheirodon and is now known as Paracheirodon innesi.

Myers worked closely with fellow ichthyologist and Stanford Natural History Museum curator, Margaret Hamilton Storey.[1]

In the scientific field of herpetology his major interest was amphibians. A genus of Philippine colubrid snake, Myersophis, was named in honor of Myers by Edward Harrison Taylor in 1963.[2]


  1. ^ "History of George S. Myers". Proceeding of the California Academy of Sciences, 4th Series. 38. 1970. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Myers, G.S.", p. 186).
  • William T. Innes (1966). Exotic Aquarium Fishes (19th ed.). Maywood, NJ: Metaframe. 

External links[edit]

Smithsonian Institution Archives