Eriovixia gryffindori: New spider species named after Harry Potter hat
Eriovixia gryffindori: New spider species named after Harry Potter hat

Eriovixia gryffindori: New spider species named after Harry Potter hat

Eriovixia gryffindori artfully mimics dried foliage to stay safe.

Scientists from India have found a new spider species that looks an awful lot like the Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter series, prompting them to name it Eriovixia gryffindori after the fictitious wizard Godric Gryffindor.

The spider, which measures only 7 millimetres (0.28 inches) in length, was found in the Kan forest of Western Ghats in southwest India, where the team says it uses its unique body to blend in with foliage.

Scientist Javed Ahmed told the Times of India: “We are very excited to have found this new spider whose shape is very similar to the magical sorting hat worn by the wizard (Gryffindor) in Harry Potter.”

He even contacted JK Rowling on Twitter and she was thrilled to hear the news.

Javed tweeted: “@jk_rowling We named a spider, after the sorting hat, from the films! Meet Eriovixia gryffindori.”

Rowling replied: “I’m truly honoured! Congratulations on discovering another #FantasticBeast!”

The Eriovixia part of the name denotes the genus of the spider and comes from the Greek word “Erion” meaning wool and the Latin “vix” meaning barely and relates to the sparse amount of hair covering the creepy crawly.

In a study of the spider published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology the researchers wrote: “This uniquely shaped spider derives its name from the fabulous, sentient magical artifact, the sorting hat, owned by the (fictitious) medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and stemming from the powerful imagination of Ms. J.K. Rowling, wordsmith extraordinaire, as presented in her beloved series of books, featuring everyone’s favorite boy-wizard, Harry Potter.

“An ode from the authors, for magic lost, and found, in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating, but oft overlooked world of invertebrates, and their secret lives.”

Where was the fantastic beast found?

The Eriovixia gryffindori spider was discovered in the in a small grove in the Western Ghats mountain range in India.

Located in the Shivamogga district of the state of Karnataka they have been described as hot-spot of biodiversity.

Javed tweeted about his discovery saying:

“#FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem : Eriovixia gryffindori. Where does one find it? Western Ghats, India, a global #biodiversity hotspot.”


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