There’s a new Harry Potter crab species named for two of the film’s characters

Gather ’round Potterheads, for we have some rather ah-mazing scientific news that’s sure to have you flying higher than your favorite broom: There’s a crab species named after two Harry Potter characters. According to Popular Science, which cited a paper published in ZooKeys, the newly discovered species is officially named Harryplax severus and can be found off the coast of Guam.

Now how cool is that name? Depending on which Harry Potter house you belong to (or *really* wanted to be sorted into), this name might be a bit controversial. Unlike the spider named for the Sorting Hat, these crabs can’t quite decide to whom they pledge their allegiance: Slytherin or Gryffindor House.

via giphy

Yeah, we kind of sulked about it too (ugh srsly, science, pick a house), but we moved past it once we learned more about the inspiration behind the species’ name. The extremely tiny crab is a mere one centimeter wide by one centimeter long and has really small, immobile eyes, which are balanced by longer-than-usual antennae.

If we had to guess, we’d say this Harry Potter moniker has something to do with the creature’s limited vision (ya know, Harry wearing glasses and all). That’s close, but not the exact reasoning. Harryplex is named for the film’s main character and researcher Harry Conley, who gathered the first of these wizard-inspired crab specimens two decades ago (before Harry Potter was even a thing).

The name severus came about because one of the authors who contributed to the ZooKeys report is simply a huge Potterhead and wanted to name the crab for his favorite parts of the book series.

"The specific epithet, severus (L., harsh, rough, rigorous), alludes to the rigorous and laborious process by which this crab was collected. It is also an allusion to a notorious and misunderstood character in the Harry Potter novels, Professor Severus Snape, for his ability to keep one of the most important secrets in the story, just like the present new species which has eluded discovery until now, nearly 20 years after it was first collected."

Love it! We’re super excited to welcome these crabs to the world of wizardry.

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