Scientific descriptions already existed for the “Brienzlig” (Coregonus albellus), the “Balchen” (Coregonus alpinus) and the “Felchen” (Coregonus fatioi). The first two – the smallest and the largest species – had already been described by the Genevan zoologist Victor Fatio in 1885. All three species are found both in Lake Thun and in Lake Brienz.
The “Kropfer”, a Lake Thun deep-water whitefish, has been known for the past 20 years as Coregonus alpinus, in accordance with Kottelat’s “European freshwater fishes”. However, Kottelat’s handbook clearly referred to a specimen, held at the Natural History Museum of Geneva, which had been designated as “Balchen” by Fatio in 1885. For this reason, the authors of the study have now restored the name C. alpinus to the “Balchen”. The “Kropfer” has been newly described and named Coregonus profundus.
In 2018, the scientists discovered a species which, on account of its similarity to the “Balchen”, was provisionally designated as “Balchen2”. This species, in Lake Thun, has now been named Coregonus steinmanni – in honour of the whitefish researcher Paul Steinmann. Further investigations revealed that the Lake Brienz whitefish initially also designated as “Balchen2” is in fact a separate species. As the only species endemic to Lake Brienz, it has been named Coregonus brienzii.