It’s become rather common for scientists to name newly-discovered species after their favourite artists. We already have:
- Aegrotocatellus jaggeri – An ancient trilobite named after Mick Jagger nearly as old as him.
- Barbaturex morrisoni – An extinct giant iguana in honour of Jim Morrison, The Lizard King.
- Cryptocercus garciai – A wood roach named after the Dead’s Jerry Garcia.
There are plenty more to be found here.
The latest person to be so honoured is Frank Zappa. A new type of bacteria–related to the bug that causes acne in humans–has been discovered infecting vineyards. It will forever be known as P. acnes type Zappae.
This isn’t the first time Zappa has been immortalized in science. There’s a spider named after him (Pachygnathazappa), a jellyfish (Phialella zappai), a small mammal species–weasels, of course–from the Micoene era (Vallaris zappai), a mudskipper from New Guinea named simply Zappa and an ancient shellfish called amaurotoma zappa. There’s also an asteroid flying around out there with his name on it (3834 Zappafrank),