Glow-in-the-dark shark (Etmopterus lailae)
No one has actually seen this critter alive, but it’s been known about for almost two decades. After the first detailed study of the specimen, however, scientists discovered that it was actually a completely unknown species of laternshark, which are notable for their bioluminescence.
Trump moth (Neopalpa donaldtrumpi)
With a disheveled blonde mop on its head and small genitals, the researchers who discovered this new species of moth from the southern United States naturally thought of the incumbent President. They hoped that the move might help the moth's namesake to take more notice of the nation's micro-fauna, though this may not be the best way to go about it.
Pink Floyd shrimp (Synalpheus pinkfloydi)
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what aspect of this pistol shrimp inspired its name. The crustaceans can snap their enlarged claw with such speed that the noise produced is loud enough to kill a fish.
Mariana snailfish (Pseudoliparis swirei)
This year saw the discovery – or rather formal description – of the world’s deepest vertebrate. First seen in 2014, the Mariana snailfish can live at depths surpassing 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) and seemingly flourishes in this extreme environment free of predators.
Daphne Major finch
Quite incredibly, this is not only a new species known to science but actually an entirely new species that has just evolved. Scientists watched as an immigrant species of finch not normally found on the island of Daphne Major mated with a resident female to produce offspring that became reproductively isolated, showing that new bird species can occur within just a few generations.