JAN 31, 2017 2:11 PM PST

This New Crab Has Been Named After the Harry Potter Movies

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Almost 20 years ago, a researcher and ex-Marine by the name of Harry Conley was studying the coral reef rubble that was surrounding the island of Guam to learn more about the biology in the region.

During his studies, he found what appeared to be a previously unknown species of crab, which was quite tiny; no more than a centimeter in both length and width and had very tiny eyes. Because it lives deep inside of the rubble of coral reefs, Conley had to dig into the rubble from the coral reefs to get to it.

Harryplax severus is a new species and genus of crab found in coral reef rubble almost 20 years ago..

Image Credit: Jose C. E. Mendoza

Unfortunately, Conley never lived to tell the tale, as he passed away in 2002. The specimens he collected were then passed on to fellow biologist Gustav Paulay, who would further express interest in learning more about them. In doing so, he brought them to Peter Ng, a taxonomy expert from the National University of Singapore.

After additional experts had a chance to examine the specimens, it became clear to them that this crab was not only a new species, but it was of a completely new genus too. Even more interesting, when giving it a name the researchers picked quite a peculiar one that seems to have roots derived from the popular Harry Potter movies. The details appear in the journal ZooKeys.

Harryplax severus is the official name of the crab; the first part of the name is derived from Harry Potter himself, as a result of the lead researcher being quite a fan of the movies. The second part of the name has been derived from professor Severus Snape, another main character in the movies.

The study authors reportedly chose Severus for a part of the name due to the movie character’s mysteriousness and for hiding his agenda until the end of the movie series, which matches the persona of the crab quite well because it went almost 20 years before spilling its secrets because of the story behind its original discovery.

For what it’s worth, this isn’t the first time that the Harry Potter movies have inspired the naming of a newly-discovered creature of Earth. A spider was also just discovered and revealed in December of 2016 and was named after Gryffindor after it was determined to look like the Sorting Hat that placed Harry Potter in his chosen group of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Source: EurekAlert

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 11, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
We Have More in Common With Our Fish Ancestors Than We Knew
FEB 11, 2021
We Have More in Common With Our Fish Ancestors Than We Knew
Long ago, aquatic animals adapted to live on land, and this initial group of land-dwelling vertebrates are known as tetr ...
FEB 08, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Stem Cell Therapy is Now Suitable for Dogs
FEB 08, 2021
Stem Cell Therapy is Now Suitable for Dogs
With good food and exercise, many dogs can live a long and healthy life. But some suffer from chronic conditions that ca ...
FEB 24, 2021
Plants & Animals
Texas Freeze Caused Historic Sea Turtle Stranding Event
FEB 24, 2021
Texas Freeze Caused Historic Sea Turtle Stranding Event
In addition to the millions of humans who suffered through Texas' historic freeze last week, local wildlife also exp ...
APR 15, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Protein That Creates a Fibonacci Sequence in Flower Heads
APR 15, 2021
A Protein That Creates a Fibonacci Sequence in Flower Heads
You're probably familiar with sunflowers, a member of the Asteraceae family. But the biology of the plant is a bit diffe ...
MAY 04, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
The Weird World of Flatfish
MAY 04, 2021
The Weird World of Flatfish
Many of us have wondered how fish like sole and flounder ended up with two eyes on one side of their heads, including sc ...
MAY 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sterilizing Mosquitos with CRISPR to Control Disease
MAY 26, 2021
Sterilizing Mosquitos with CRISPR to Control Disease
By knocking out a gene in male mosquitos' testes, researchers demonstrate a powerful population control technique.
Loading Comments...