No 'One Love': Bloodsucking Crustacean Named After Bob Marley

Newly discovered coral dweller named for the reggae legend, but not because it's a peaceful soul.

A close-up of an adult male gnathiid. Adult males look entirely different than juveniles and are used by taxonomists to identify species.
By SHARE

Its actions may go in direct contrast with those of the man who fought for peace and equality, but a recently discovered Caribbean crustacean species was named after reggae legend Bob Marley, researchers announced Tuesday.

It turns out that Gnathia marleyi is more of a "Buffalo Soldier" fighting for survival than a peaceful, "One Love"-espousing coral dweller: The parasitic, bloodsucking crustacean lives aboard certain species of small fish that live near the Caribbean's coral reefs.

[Researchers reconstruct ancient giant penguin]

According to Paul Sikkel, the Arkansas State University marine biologist who discovered and named the creature, it's the first new species of animal found in the Caribbean in more than 20 years.

Although its bloodsucking ways don't exactly scream out "Bob Marley," Sikkel said in a statement that the crustacean's chosen home was enough to make him name it after the late singer.

"I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music," he said. "This species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley."

Sikkel originally discovered the crustacean more than 10 years ago near the U.S. Virgin Islands—but it wasn't until recently that he realized it was a new species. Earlier this year, researchers dubbed a deep-sea Antarctic crab the "Hasselhoff crab" after David Hasselhoff, so Marley is in good company.

Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at jkoebler@usnews.com