New Water Mite Named After JLo

Jul 16, 2014 05:35 PM EDT

As if the pop superstar needs another boost to her ego, scientists named a new water mite for famous singer Jennifer Lopez after discovering the species near Puerto Rico.

Vladimir Pesic, the lead author, explains the reasoning behind this unusual name is simply due to the fact that the researchers love the Latina's music, which they listened to during their study.

"The reason behind the unusual choice of name for the new species is that J.Lo's songs and videos kept the team in a continuous good mood when writing the manuscript and watching World Cup Soccer 2014," Pesic, of the Department of Biology at the University of Montenegro, told The Associated Press (AP).

Pesic calls it a small token of gratitude for the singer of hits such as "Ain't It Funny," ''I Luh Ya Papi" and his personal favorite, "All I Have."

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The newly named Litarachna lopezae mite, described in the journal ZooKeys, was found in a coral reef in Mona Passage, a treacherous body of water that separates Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Several mites were collected during a series of trips from 2010 to 2012 organized by the University of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute.

At nearly 230 feet (70 meters), this pontarachnid mite is the deepest-dwelling mite ever found up until now, according to the study. Pontarachnid mites represent a widely distributed species, and yet they are still marine animals that have not been fully studied.

Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs), like Bajo de Sico where the new species was found are light-dependent habitats dominated by macroalgae, sponges and scleractinian corals. They are typically found on the continental slopes of Caribbean islands between 100 and 330 feet (30-100 meters), Red Orbit reported.

The MCEs of Puerto Rico represent a potential biodiversity hotspot for marine arthropods, a type of invertebrate animal that includes mites.

L. lopezae is not the first species to be named in honor of a famous celebrity, according to the AP. Mick Jagger, for example, has a type of trilobite named after him, while one spider was named after Bono and a marine parasite found only in the Caribbean sea was named after Bob Marley.

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