Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is the latest celebrity to have a newfound species named after him. A newly discovered 469-million-year-old species of conodont (extinct agnathan vertebrates resembling eels), has been given the name of Drepanoistodus Iommii. The fossil was unearthed from a succession of limestone in the western part of Russia.
As much as a privilege it would be to have a never-before-seen species named after someone, Iommi isn’t the first celebrity to have that honor – in fact, the ones I’m about to mention are actually all musicians. Let’s take a quick look at some of the lucky musicians who have had species named after them.
Back in 2020, a deep-sea crustacean was found in the Pacific Ocean by Dr. Torben Riehl and Dr. Bart De Smet. The creature, which had a clear body and no eyes, was named Macrostylis metallicola after the band Metallica.
Between the Buried and Me
When a brittle star was found in South Carolina back in 2018, it was called Amphilimna intersepultosetme which in Latin translates to “between the buried and me”.
Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead
A prehistoric crocodile was discovered in England in 2017 that would have been one of the biggest coastal predators during the middle part of the Jurassic Period. It was named Lemmysuchus obtusidens after the late musician.
Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse
Scientists found a gigantic fish-eating worm in 2017 and named it Websteroprion Armstrong after the bass player.
A type of damselfly was found in Africa in 2015 (this is a slender insect that is related to the dragonfly). Belonging to the Umma genus, it was named gumma in reference to Pink Floyd’s 1969 album called Ummagumma.
Henry Rollins of Black Flag
Back in 2015, Henry Rollins was given the honor of being named after a type of fireworm that is aquatic and a relative of leeches and earthworms. Researchers called it Rollinschaeta myoplena.
A new frog species was found in 2014 in the Amazon. Interestingly, it made bat-like sounds. Since Ozzy had a disturbing incident with a bat many years ago, researchers decided to name the creature Dendropsophus ozzyi.
Joe Strummer from The Clash
In 2014, a punk snail species with a spiked shell was found deep in the ocean and was named A. strummeri after the musician.
Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish
When a newly discovered fungus gnat was found in Finland, biologist Jukka Salmela asked the Finnish keyboardist if the species could be named after him and it was therefore called Sciophila Holopaineni.
Dave Mustaine from Megadeth
When a newfound tarantula was discovered in the southern parts of New Mexico and Arizona, it was named Aphonopelma Davemustainei.
Dr. Mats E. Eriksson found a fossil of a “marine worm with jaws” in Sweden and Estonia. It was then named Kingnites diamondi after the musician.
Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden
A spider taxonomist named Christina Rheims found four never-before-seen arachnid species and named one of them Extraordinarius bruceickinsoni after the lead singer.
Rick Allen from Def Leppard
Another one of the newfound arachnid species that Christina Rheims discovered was named Extraordinarius rickalleni after the drummer.
Klaus Meine from The Scorpions
The third of Christina Rheims’ newfound arachnid species was called Extraordinarius klausmeinei after the vocalist.
And finally, the fourth of Christina Rheims’ new arachnid species was named Extraordinarius andrematosi after the late Brazilian singer.