BEIRUT

Music

No crustacean, no cry? Bob Marley gets his own species

A statue of Jamaican Reggae legend Bob Marley welcomes visitors at his museum in Kingston on June 30, 2012. Jamaica will celebrate its 50th anniversary as an independent state on August 6, 2012. (AFP PHOTO / MLADEN ANTONOV)

WASHINGTON: Reggae immortal Bob Marley has joined Barack Obama and Elvis Presley in the elite club of those who have biological species named in their honor.

In Marley's case, it's a small parasitic crustacean blood feeder that infests fish in Caribbean coral reefs, now known as Gnathia marleyi.

"I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music," Paul Sikkel, a marine biologist at Arkansas State University, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as Marley."

Young Gnathia marleyi hide among coral rubble, sea sponges or algae, launching surprise attacks on fish, which they then infest, eating enough to fuel their growth to adulthood.

Adults don't eat at all, Sikkel said, but manage to survive for two to three weeks on their last feedings as juveniles.

Caribbean coral reefs are vulnerable to diseases, and Sikkel said his team is studying the relationship between the health of coral reef communities and gnathiid populations.

Gnathiids, like the species named for Marley, are the most common external parasites found on coral reefs. They are ecologically similar to land-based, blood-sucking ticks or disease-carrying mosquitoes, the biologist said.

Bob Marley, who died in 1981, was an iconic exponent of the Jamaican-born music known as reggae. One of his standards is "No Woman, No Cry."

President Obama has a lichen named for him and Elvis has a wasp.

Sikkel and his research team described all the life stages of Gnathia marleyi in the current edition of the journal Zootaxia. The research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

 

Recommended

Related Articles

Entities

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here