ASU Marine Biologist Names Crustacean Blood Feeder, Gnathia Marleyi, Bob Marley

Gnathia marleyi Bob Martley crustacean

ASU Marine Biologist Names Crustacean Blood Feeder, Gnathia Marleyi After Bob Marley (National Science Foundation)

Reggae legend Bob Marley joins an elite club, including Barack Obama, who have a biological species named in their honor — the Gnathia marleyi — a small parasitic crustacean blood feeder that infests fish in Caribbean coral reefs.

The species was named by Paul Sikkel, a marine biologist at Arkansas State University, who said, “I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music.”

The young Gnathia marleyi hide among coral rubble, sea sponges, launching surprise attacks on fish, which they then infest, eating enough to fuel their growth to adulthood, Reuters reports.


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Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.