An extinct ‘water pig’ with ‘tactile lips’ has been named after Mick Jagger. Recently discovered in Egypt thanks to the finding of pieces of fossilised jaw, it has been named Jaggermeryx naida, which means ‘Jagger’s water nymph’. From bacteria to beetles, musicians have long been used as inspiration to name the creatures of the earth. Here’s 10 more of the strangest.
If you could be named after anything would it be a grotesque-looking parasite? Probably not. Poor Bob Marley’s legacy lives on in the Gnathia marleyi, a parasite that infests and feeds on the blood of a fish called the French grunt.
A wasp called ‘Aleiodes shakirae’ is named after Shakira, the Colombian superstar, because of the wiggly dance moves it causes caterpillars when it injects it with eggs. The host caterpillar remains alive for a time while the wasp larva slowly eats its insides. Lovely!
Alongside Frank Zappa, Lady Gaga is another popular choice for animal monikers. Quite cool to have a genus of fern named after you but even cooler, a tiny wasp discovered by DNA barcoding.
Frank Zappa’s name has been affixed to a heady amount of animals. Amaurotoma zappa, a clam that died 300 millions years ago, carries his name as well as Vallaris zappai, an acne-causing bacteria. Lush. The coolest though is a jellyfish named as part of professor Ferdinando Boero’s plan to get to meet Frank Zappa. “There is nothing I’d like better than having a jellyfish named after me,” he said.
Of all God’s creatures, spiders are the lucky ones that get the most amount of celebrity nomenclatures. Aptostichus bonoi, otherwise known as the Joshua Tree trapdoor spider (geddit?), is named after U2’s Bono.
Captia beyonceaet the horse fly was apparently named after Beyoncé Knowles because of its “striking golden behind”.
A new species of water mite discovered off the coast of Puerto Rico has been named after pop star Jennifer Lopez.
Punk rockers have lent their name to, of all things, the macrocarpaea dies-viridis, a pretty flower of the gentian family.
The Loureedia annulipes is an arachnid from all over the world and, check it out, it’s both badass and beautiful. A salute the Velvet Underground man was surely proud of.
A cruel joke about Mick Jagger’s age perhaps? The ‘Aegrotocatellus jaggeri’ is a prehistoric trilobite who’s name translates to “sick puppy.” To prevent Keith Richard’s jealousy he’s got the Perirehaedulus richardsi named after him.