25 August 2015

Tuesday Crustie: Justice, and freedom

It wasn’t that long ago I posted this on Twitter:

And it’s already out of date! Yesterday, a new paper came out with another new crayfish that had appeared in the pet trade before it was formally recognized in a new paper.

I know I’ve posted quite a few crayfish species in this feature, but it’s impossible to resist such a beauty! Like most of the other species being described from the pet trade, this one is from the island of New Guinea in the Pacific.

The common name is the “orange tip crayfish,” but this didn’t factor into the scientific name.

Naming a species after a well-known person is hardly new, and it often raises eyebrows when the name is for someone who is reasonably well known. “Celebrity species names” sometimes gets some criticism due to its perception that it’s a bit of a publication relations attention getter, and not done with due deference and respect and blah blah blah.

It’s Cherax snowden, so named after Edward Snowden. This name may raise a few more eyebrows than usual, as Snowden is not universally loved, shall we say. The paper says this about the choice of the choice of name:

The new species is named after the American freedom fighter Edward Joseph Snowden. He is honored due to of his extraordinary achievements in defense of justice, and freedom.

I updated my little infographic:


Lukhaup C, Panteleit J, Schrimpf A. 2015. Cherax snowden, a new species of crayfish (Crustacea, Decapoda, Parastacidae) from the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) Peninsula in Irian Jaya (West Papua), Indonesia. ZooKeys 518: 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.518.6127

External links

There’s a new crayfish species and it’s named after Edward Snowden 
New Species of Crayfish Named After Edward Snowden 
Researchers name new crayfish species after Edward Snowden
Feedback: The political games in species names

1 comment:

Justin said...

This is awesome! What an amazingly colored crayfish. It's interesting how the pet trade can act as a boon to sampling efforts for those groups that there are demand for. I am sure people who work on amphipods, for example, would love for there to become a demand for keeping them in aquaria!