Biologists have drawn inspiration from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series to name a newly-discovered species of crab. Named after the character Professor Severus Snape, Harryplax severus has eluded researchers for decades just like the teacher who had kept it a secret that he was a double agent working for Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore until he died.
Its genus name Harry is a tribute to researcher Harry Conley. The name is also an allusion to Harry Potter, reported Time.
The species of crab was first collected almost 20 years ago by late researcher Harry Conley along the shores of Guam. It is tiny, measuring just 7.9 by 5.6 millimetres, and managed to evade researchers. Now though, biologists Peter Ng and Jose Christopher E Mendoza have identified it to be a new species altogether.
In their study, Peter Ng and Mendoza said the crab’s name is “an allusion to a notorious and misunderstood character Professor Severus Snape for his ability to keep one of the most important secrets in the story, just like the new species that has eluded discovery until now, nearly 20 years after it was first collected.”
Harry Potter characters have been the inspiration for names of several new creatures recently. Last year, scientists named a new species of spider Eriovixia gryffindori after one of Hogwarts founders Godric Gryffindor. Before that, 66-million-old dinosaur Dracorex hogwartsia was named after a former Hogwarts resident, reported The Guardian.