Jamaican Music

A Parasite Species and a Spider Named for Bob Marley : Weird Things Named after Muscians

Bob Marley


Among some of the stranger things named after musicians is the species of blood-sucking parasite named after reggae legend Bob Marley. The researcher named the parasite Gnathia Marleyi because of his respect and admiration for the music of the globally recognized Jamaican singer and social activist. The researcher also noted that the species is “uniquely Caribbean,” as was Bob Marley. The crustacean feeds on the blood of fish like the French grunt.The tiny parasite can only be found in the Caribbean Sea and eats only while in its juvenile stage. It hides among sea sponges, algae, and bits of dead coral.

A water spider has also been named for the Jamaican icon. Newly discovered by scientists in Australia, the Desis bobmarleyi is a species that hides in corals, barnacle shells, or kelp during high tides. They build air chambers from their silk, but also hunt other invertebrates at low tide, according to Barbara Baehr, an arachnologist at Queensland Museum. The new water spider species gain the Marley name because of his song “High Tide or Low Tide,” which researchers say matches the hgh/low-tide habitat in which the spider thrives.

Also named after musicians are:

Masiakasaurus Knopfleri, a small theropod dinosaur found in Madagascar, which is named after Dire Straits’ lead singer Mark Knopfler;

Sericomyrmex Radioheadi, a new ant species discovered by researchers at the Smithsonian Institution named to recognize the band’s “longstanding efforts in environmental activism, especially in raising climate-change awareness, and in honor of their music, which is an excellent companion during long hours at the microscope while conducting taxonomic revisions of ants;”

Gaga Germanotta, 19 species of fern of the same genus that were opened by researchers at Duke University named after Lady Gaga because of her “fervent defense of equality and individual expression. And as we started to consider it, the ferns themselves gave us more reasons why it was a good choice. The plants are hermaphroditic, or “bisexual” if you will, and the letters GAGA were stamped into its DNA. In other words, they were fern that way;”

P Acnes Zappae, a nasty bacteria that causes acne named for Frank Zappa and the only micro-organism known to transfer from humans to plants;

‘Justin’ melon, a very sweet type of melon developed by farmers in Israel and named for Justin Timberlake, which the farmers hope would act as a good-luck charm for the singer and give him success and a long life;

Synalpheus Pinkfloydi, a shrimp with a pink snapping claw used to stun its prey with sonic energy and that has “deafening vocal capabilities” named after Pink Floyd by a zoologist at Oxford University;

‘The Hoff’ Crab, a crab with hair on its chest, named for David Hasselhoff by Paul Tyler from Southampton University to honor the actor and singer who is remembered for showing off his hairy chest in the “Baywatch” TV series;

Aphonopelma Johnnycashi, a “hairy, black outlaw” tarantula named for singer Johnny Cash and found in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada mountains, the location of Folsom Prison.

About the author

Stephanie Korney