New Crayfish Species Named After Edward Snowden

Posted: Aug 25 2015, 9:30pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

New Crayfish Species Named After Edward Snowden
Courtesy of Journal ZooKeys

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The new species of crayfish was found in West Papau region of Indonesia. It was given the name of former CIA employee Edward Snowden who became famous after leaking secret information of National Security Agency

A new species of crayfish has been found in the West Papau region of Indonesia and has been named after American computer professional Edward Snowden.

The new crayfish species was first exported in 2006 from Sorong city, Indonesia to a German aquarium. It is also imported to some countries of Europe, East Asia and America.

The new crayfish is mostly used for decorative purposes and local collectors call it “Orange tip” or “Green orange tip.” The new species belongs to a large genus of freshwater crayfish “Cherax”. It was long confused with another species of Cherax genus, known as Cherax Holthuisi, also from Indonesia.

But scientists have found that this species is different from other members of Cherax. The shape of the body, color and coloration pattern makes it distinguishable from rest of Cherax and it was decided to give it a new name “Cherax Snowden.” Snowden is a former CIA employee who is known for leaking secretive information from U.S. National Security Agency.

“The new species is named after the American freedom fighter Edward Joseph Snowden.” German researcher Christian Lukhaup and his colleagues, who gave the name to the new crayfish species, clearly wrote in the study.

“He is honored due to his extraordinary achievements in defense of justice and freedom.”

The color and coloration pattern is different but genetically or morphologically, Cherax Snowden is very similar to Cherax holthuisi.

Cherax Snowden is also facing some potential threats. “As Cherax Snowden is collected in large numbers for the global aquarium trade, as well as for food for the growing local population, the crayfish population will invariably be adversely impacted.” Authors wrote in the study.

Local collectors are also reporting a decrease in the population of new species in the last few years.

“Clearly, the continued collecting of these crayfish for the trade is not a sustainable practice, and if the popularity of these species continues, a conservation management plan will have to be developed, potentially including a captive breeding program.” Study concludes.

The study was published in journal ZooKeys.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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