New water mite species named after Jennifer Lopez

The scientists who discovered the new water mite says the scientific name is simply a tribute to the idol's songs.
By Brooks Hays   |   July 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM   |   Comments

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, July 17 (UPI) -- Fans of pop star Jennifer Lopez are a diverse set. Some are teenage girls, and others have post graduate degrees and study insects. The latter sort recently paid tribute to the Bronx-born singer by naming a newly discovered water mite after her.

The tiny water mite, Litarachna lopezae, was found and collected by scientists from a coral reef in Mona Passage -- the strait that divides the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. J-Lo is of Puerto Rican descent, her parents having immigrated to New York from the U.S. territory.

Litarachna lopezae is now one of 5,000 different species of water mites, a little-studied group of insects. Most water mites are found in fresh water, but as they garner more scientific attention, more and more species adapted to marine environs are being discovered.

The scientists who discovered the new water mite say the scientific name is simply a tribute to the idol's songs, many of which they apparently listened to as they conducted their research.

The study detailing the new species' discovery was published recently in the journal ZooKeys.

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