One fantastic ‘beast’ with Harry Potter name
A recently discovered crab species has been named Harryplax severus after characters in Harry Potter.
Fans of the famous boy wizard will know Severus as the extremely strict and unpopular teacher, ‘Severus Snape’.
Over twenty years ago, a researcher named Harry Conley found the crab on the north Pacific Ocean island of Guam. However, it was twenty years later when it was realised that the crab was a totally new species.
One member of the team was a huge Harry Potter fan and decided to take the opportunity to name the crab Harryplax severus. He called it Harry because he loved all of the Harry Potter stories, but also to credit Harry Conley, who originally found the crab. The name severus (note it lower case spelling) was decided because Snape was known to be good at keeping a secret – apparently the crab is good at that too!
It has small shrunken eyes and a very pale skin and it spends most of its time in a dark area. It is found on Guam’s reefs that lead into the ocean.
Harry Conley had to dig more that thirty meters down into the reef to discover the shy little crab, which favours living deep in coral or under large rocks. To see clearly in the dark and go about its daily tasks, it has very small but effective eyes. Measuring less than a centimeter in width and length, it can certainly get into extremely small areas.
YJA researchers also discovered that Harryplax severus is not alone in being named after a Harry Potter character. Can you guess which Potter character inspired the naming of this spider?
Elvie, Year 5