‘Loudest’ shrimp species gets its name after Pink Floyd

Just like all good rock bands, pistol shrimps, or snapping shrimps, have an ability to generate substantial amounts of sonic energy, researchers said.

By Author   |   Published: 12th Apr 2017   4:28 pm
Pink Floyd Shrimp
A new species of shrimp named after Pink Floyd described in Zootaxa. Source: Zootaxa

London: A newly discovered shrimp species has been named after the popular British rock band Pink Floyd for the creature’s strikingly bright pink claws and its ability to make sounds loud enough to stun, or even kill small fish in the ocean.

The conspicuously coloured pistol shrimp, discovered on the Pacific coast of Panama, was named Synalpheus pinkfloydi in recognition of the discoverers’ favourite rock band.

By closing its enlarged claw at rapid speed the shrimp creates a high-pressure cavitation bubble, the implosion of which results in one of the loudest sounds in the ocean – strong enough to stun or even kill a small fish, said researchers, including those from Oxford University in the UK.

Synalpheus pinkfloydi is not the only pistol shrimp with such a lurid claw.

Its closely-related and similar-looking sister species, Synalpheus antillensis, scientifically described in 1909, is found in the western Atlantic, including the Caribbean side of Panama.

However, researchers found that the two species show considerable genetic divergence, granting S pinkfloydi a new species status and its very own rock and roll name.

“I have been listening to Floyd since The Wall was released in 1979, when I was 14 years old. I’ve seen them play live several times since, including the Hyde Park reunion gig for Live8 in 2005,” said Sammy De Grave from of Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History in the UK.

“The description of this new species of pistol shrimp was the perfect opportunity to finally give a nod to my favourite band,” said De Grave.

The findings were published in the journal Zootaxa.