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New Brown Trout Discovered at Loch Laidon

A new type of brown trout has been discovered at Loch Laidon in Perthshire. Researchers used systematic sampling techniques and DNA analysis to identify four types of brown trout living in the loch that are genetically, ecologically and morphologically distinct from one another.  

The deep water, bottom feeder or 'profundal benthivore' is new to science. Similar quartets have been observed in other species such as the Arctic charr, but never for brown trout. The profundal benthivore is paler than the other trout in the loch, and has much larger eyes and mouth.  

The findings present exciting possibilities about the diversity of freshwater lakes in the Northern hemisphere. 

'Findings such as those for Loch Laidon may well be the tip of a biodiversity iceberg in Scottish and other northern lakes, the true size of this iceberg will only become clear once we study more lakes using methods such as those we employed'. - Professor Verspoor

The four brown trout types from Loch Laidon

The study was conducted through the Rivers and Lochs Institute at UHI Inverness College by Professor Eric Verspoor, Mark Coulson, Ronald Greer and David Knox. The paper was published in the journal Freshwater Biology and can be accessed online here.