It may not be as nice as being named for a little bird, but it's better than nothing, I suppose: A new species of coral reef crustacean has been named after famed reggae singer Bob Marley.
Paul Sikkel, a marine biologist at Arkansas State University, discovered and just named the small parasitic crustacean Gnathia marleyi.
The tiny parasite infests certain fish in the coral reefs of the shallow eastern Caribbean.
"I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music," Sikkel says. "Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley."
The research appeared in a June issue of the journal Zootaxa.
Gnathia marleyi is a new species within the gnathiid family, and the first new species to be described in the Caribbean in more than two decades.
By concealing themselves within coral rubble, sea sponge or algae, juvenile Gnathia marleyi are able to launch surprise attacks on fish and then infest them.
Specimens of Gnathia marleyi will be housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. "We are currently discussing with AMNH the possibility of creating an exhibit featuring this species that could be viewed by the public," said Sikkel.