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
JAN 06, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 06, 2020
Every River Leap a Proboscis Monkey Makes Could be its Last
Leaves are one of the most essential components of a proboscis monkey’s diet, and in some cases, getting to the tastiest leaves means taking an enorm...
FEB 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 17, 2020
How a Spider Builds its Web
Just about everyone has seen a spider web at some point in their life, but have you ever wondered how a spider builds such a strong and perfect web? The pr...
FEB 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 18, 2020
This Wasp Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies for its Larvae
We can’t think of anyone that likes cockroaches, but one insect in particular seems to scout them out specifically for its own bizarre reasons. The e...
MAR 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
MAR 20, 2020
THC and Single Joint Linked to Temporary Psychiatric Symptoms
A new analysis of cannabis health risks and benefits reinforces the complexity of this drug, proving that health and risk factors depend on the active comp...
MAR 24, 2020
Technology
MAR 24, 2020
3D Printing Cellulose
Cellulose is a material found in trees and plants that can help build complex structures. The uniqueness of the material has inspired researchers at ETH Zu...
MAR 31, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 31, 2020
This Spider Goes Fishing for Food
Most spiders are land animals, but the fishing spider tends to spend most of its time dwelling on watery surfaces. Fishing spiders can walk on water, utili...
Loading Comments...