Five weird things that have been named after musicians

A newly discovered species of spider has been named after Radiohead

Five weird things that have been named after musicians

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'The King of Limbs' Tom Yorke and his fellow bandmates have had an illustrious career with Radiohead.

But which achievement polls higher for them - selling 30 million albums worldwide or lending their name to a spider?

A pair of researchers in the Venezuela’s Amazonian rain forest have named a newly discovered species of arachnid after the band.

Ana Ješovnik and Ted R. Schultz from the Smithsonian Institution’s Ant Lab recently christened a freshly identified species of ants as Sericomyrmex radioheadi.

Found throughout South America, the fungus-farming silky ants are related to leaf-cutter ants. Incredibly, they have figured out how to farm their own nourishment, according to Ješovnik and Schultz’s detailed findings, which were published in ZooKeys.

A closeup of Sericomyrmex radioheadi’s face

The authors of the study further reveal that they chose the moniker as “an acknowledgement of [the group’s] longstanding efforts in environmental activism, especially in raising climate-change awareness, and in honor of their music, which is an excellent companion during long hours at the microscope while conducting taxonomic revisions of ants.”

They're not alone ...

Scientists are particularly fond of naming their precious discoveries after their favourite band and artists. The best of the best can be found below.

Lady Gaga

In 2012, a group of 19 genus ferns were named after singer Lady Gaga. 

It's so called in part because of its striking appearance, and also because of its genetic make-up - its distinct DNA sequence spells GAGA.

Gaga germanotta comes from Costa Rica, and was named to honor the family of the artist, who was born Stefani Germanotta. A Mexican species was dubbed Gaga monstraparva (literally translated as 'monster-little') in honour of Gaga's fans, whom she calls "little monsters."

Lady Gaga (left) and the fern gametophyte

Justin Timberlake

A suitable type of fruit was named after the most inoffensive man in pop, Justin Timberlake.

Ahead of his premiere Israeli concert, farmers in the country named a melon after the singer/actor.

The 'Justin' melon (known for its sweet taste) is yellow on the outside and orange on the inside - no word on whether the same applies to the SexyBack singer.

The 'Justin' melon

Beyoncé

No, Queen B doesn't have a strain of the honey-maker named after her, but she does boast sharing a name with a horse fly.

Australian researchers named a rare type of horse fly with a golden-haired bum Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae, after the Bootylicious singer. 

Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae (above) and Beyoncé (below)

Pink Floyd

Earlier this month, a shrimp with what's described as deafening vocal capabilities was named after the band Pink Floyd by a rock 'n' roll-loving zoologist.

Synalpheus pinkfloydi has a distinctive pink snapping claw that it uses to stun prey with sonic energy.

Zoologist Dr Sammy de Grave, from Oxford University's Museum of Natural History, had been waiting for the chance to honour the prog rock legends by giving their name to a new species.

Synalpheus pinkfloydi. Image: PA

Bob Marley

What better way to pay homage to one of the most significant reggae artists of all time than giving his name to a blood-sucking fish parasite?

The researcher who found the crustacean named it after Marley because of his respect and administration of Marley’s music. He also said that the species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley. The species goes by the name Gnathia marleyi.

Gnathia marleyi