Researchers Name Extremely Cool Coral Reef Spider After Bob Marley

The female of the new species. R. Raven/Evolutionary Systematics; CC BY 4.0

The paper also mentions the late-Amalie Dietrich, a pioneering (and, according to some, controversial) German collector and expert in natural history renowned for her work in Australia, including on spiders.

“Reggae legend Bob Marley certainly had a different background but shared with Dietrich and other explorers some character traits: adventurous and resilient at heart, he liberated himself and his peers from poverty and hopelessness,” the researchers note.

They also explain that the aforementioned Marley song accompanied them on the all-important field trip that led to the confirmation of the new species of spider. All in all, then, this study is a letter of appreciation to those that research spiders and to Bob Marley – not a combination you’d expect to see every day.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time that Marley has been immortalized in this way. A few years back, a vampiric, parasitical crustacean, Gnathia marleyi, was adorned with his legendary name too.

As reported by Scientific American, this controversial decision was made because parasites are important organisms too – and in the end, this was just one professional, a scientist, unconventionally honoring another, a musician.

Honestly, you shouldn’t give much thought to why certain species are named after seemingly unrelated popular figures. Remember, there’s a carnivorous pitcher plant out there named Nepenthes attenboroughii, and we sincerely doubt that that’s what the renowned wildlife documentary presenter is like when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Scientists and researchers like naming things after famous people – both benevolent and malevolent – so add this curious new species to a list that also includes a horse fly named after Beyoncé and a beetle named after Hitler.

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