Environmental News

Elton John Crustacean: Newly Discovered Arthropod Named After English Musician

Leucothoe eltoni has been discovered in the coral reefs of Raja Ampat off the coast of Indonesia. A shrimp-like crustacean that showed up in the microscope of James Thomas, the discoverer of the newly named specie, L. eltoni was given its name due to its large appendage that reminded Thomas of the big shoes that Elton John wore while acting as the Pinball Wizard in the movie “Tommy.” The journal ZooKeys released the details of the new discovery.

“I named the species in honor of Sir Elton John because I have listened to his music in my lab during my entire scientific career,” explained Thomas, a Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography researcher. According to Discovery, taxonomists – those who name and research new species of living things – can select names for new organisms that relate to their features, locations, or a notable person of their choosing.

I named the species in honor of Sir Elton John because I have listened to his music in my lab during my entire scientific career.

L. eltoni has already traveled a “yellow brick road” of its own, having journeyed from Indonesia waters through the vast Pacific to Hawaii, where, as NBC News reported, it arrived as an invasive species. Thomas thinks that it is possible that his discovered specie hitched a ride inside a sponge attached to a big floating drydock that originated in the Philippines.

Although Elton John’s crustacean namesake is being called an invasive species in Hawaii at the moment, that does not necessarily mean it has an adversarial impact on the environment around Oahu where it currently resides in plenty. Further research must commence to adequately explore this.

The crustacean was found inside of a reef invertebrate in a commensal association, meaning that it is a parasite that does not necessarily assist or harm its host.

This newly discovered specie may not be able to perform musical numbers for large audiences, but further study may determine whether L. eltoni has toured the world as far and wide as the famous music star.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - Get Important Content Like This Delivered Directly To You

Get important content and more delivered to you once or twice a week.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.