Helen K. Larson

Helen K. Larson is an ichthyologist who specialises in the fishes of the Indo-Pacific.

In the 1960s and 1970s, she attended the University of Guam to study for her Bachelor's and master's degrees and while there she also worked in the local Marine Laboratory. While there she collected and described a new species of the dwarf goby from the genus Eviota, Eviota pellucida, the description being published in 1976 in the journal Copeia. This was her first description of a new species.[1] Her Masters was called Notes on the biology and comparative behaviour of Eviota zonura and Eviota smaragdus (Pisces:Gobiidae). She gained a PhD in Zoology from the University of Queensland and her thesis was A revision of the gobiid fish genus Mugilogobius (Teleostei: Gobioidei), and its systematic placement.[2]

She moved from Guam in 1974 to work with Douglass F. Hoese at the Australian Museum in Sydney as a Technical Officer[2] and in 1981 she took a position as Curator of Fishes at the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory in Darwin.[1] She held this position until she retired in 2009.[2]

Her main interests were in the fishes of the Indo-Pacific, especially the Gobiiformes and she is the author or co-author of over 120 papers. Over the course of her career she has described 72 new species and name 7 new genera. She is on the editorial board of the academic journals Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters and aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology. She also reviews papers for a number of other journals.[1] As well as gobies Larson's interests include river sharks, freshwater hardyheads, freshwater grunters, damsel fishes and mackerel emperors,[2] and birdwatching.[1]

The goby genus Larsonella was named in her honour[3] while among the species named after her are pygmy pipehorse Idiotropiscis larsonae[4] and the triplefin blenny Enneapterygius larsonae.[5]


  1. Bernard Ebner (8 July 2014). "Anatomy of a fish taxonomist: Helen Larson". the morayslair. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. "Helen Larson". Australian Society For Fish Biology. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  3. Christopher Scharpf; Kenneth J. Lazara (14 July 2018). "Order GOBIIFORMES: Family GOBIIDAE (I-p)". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  4. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2019). "Idiotropiscis larsonae" in FishBase. April 2019 version.
  5. Christopher Scharpf; Kenneth J. Lazara (29 January 2019). "Order BLENNIIFORMES: Families TRIPTERYGIIDAE and DACTYLOSCOPIDAE". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
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