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        10 May 2019

A New Tough Parasite Named After Xena...

‘Tough’ Parasitic Crustacean Named After Xena

ImageA new species of parasitic crustacean has been named after Xena, the warrior princess.

Discovered in the mouth of the Orange River in South Africa, the shellfish is not on a quest to redeem itself from a dark past using formidable fighting skills.

But the females—with their characteristic elongated and ovoid bodies—are exceptionally tough.

So researchers from North-West University christened the arthropod Elthusa xena.

“This species is named after Xena, the warrior princess, in reference to the strong nature of the female cymothoid isopod,” the team wrote in a paper, published by the journal ZooKeys, describing several new species of parasitic crustaceans.

In another win for womankind, the first specimen used to identify and describe the new species, known as the holotype, is an egg-carrying female.


The tiny creature—much less formidable than Lucy Lawless—attaches itself to the gills of its host, the Super klipfish.

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