George S. Myers

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George Sprague Myers (February 2, 1905 – November 4, 1985) was an American ichthyologist who spent most of his career at Stanford University. 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 snake, Myersophis, was named in his honor by Edward Harrison Taylor in 1963.[2] A genus of South Pacific lizards, Geomyersia, was named in his honor by Allen E. Greer and Fred Parker in 1968.[3]


  1. ^ Walford, Lionel A. (1970). "On the Natural History of George Sprague Myers". Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. Fourth Series. 38 (1): 1–18.
  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).
  3. ^ Greer, Allen E.; Parker, Fred (1968). "Geomyersia glabra, a new genus and species of scinciid lizard from Bougainville, Solomon Islands, with comments on the relationship of some lygosomine genera". Breviora (302): 1-17.

Further reading[edit]

  • Innes WT (1966). Exotic Aquarium Fishes (19th ed.). Maywood, New Jersey: Metaframe.

External links[edit]

Smithsonian Institution Archives