Newly discovered marine spider named in honour of Bob Marley

By AG Staff 8 January 2018
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Desis bobmarley has long hair, lives on the corals of the Great Barrier Reef and is named after a music legend.

A TEAM OF Queensland Museum researchers have discovered a new species of marine spider, which they have dubbed ‘Desis bobmarley‘ in honour of music legend Bob Marley’s “adventurous and resilient spirit.”

Barbara Baehr and Robert Raven of the Queensland Museum, who, between them, have described approximately 1,000 new spider species, discovered D. bobmarley on the Great Barrier Reef, living on several different coral colonies.

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Several of the newly discovered spiders living on brain coral in the Great Barrier Reef. (Image Credit: Paul Hoye)

D. bobmarleyi is a small spider with a 6mm long body and long hair like his namesake,” Barbara said.

“It uses this long hair on its legs and abdomen to create an air bubble around its middle that enables it to breathe and survive between the high and low tide zones.

“During high tide these extremely rare and unusual animals hide in the air chambers, but during low tide they are vagrant hunters found on corals, barnacles or debris.

“It was this behaviour that inspired us to name this new intertidal species in honour of Bob Marley’s hit song High Tide or Low Tide, which played during our field research in Queensland’s Port Douglas.”

Robert said that this new discovery will help to better understand the Desus genus.

“With no review of the classification of Desis spider species in the last 150 years, this research will be essential in reviewing the scientific classification of these fascinating spiders which are colonizing reefs along many coast lines of the world.”