Harry Potter Crab

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  • Graeme
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Here’s one for the Potterheads out there. Back in 2001, amateur researcher Harry Conley discovered a black-eyed translucent crab burrowing among reef rocks off the coast of Guam. Having been able to grab two specimens, they were found to be a new species of crab dubbed Harryplax severus.

Fans of Harry Potter might already be able to guess where the name came from, but for the rest of us, it still is a fun story.

The two crab specimens were sent to Peter Ng at the National University of Singapore, where he and colleague Jose Mendoza identified it as a new species and gave it the unique name that was reported in the January 23 in ZooKeys.

Here is the breakdown. The genus name honors two Harrys — both Conley, who was known to have a “magical” reputation for finding new ocean creatures, and Harry Potter from author J.K. Rowling’s book series.

It seems that Mendoza was the Potter fan and also suggested the species designation severus, that is a reference to the books’ “notoriously uptight and misjudged Severus Snape, whose true nature remains elusive until the series’ end.”

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