clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

This fantastic spider resembles Harry Potter’s sorting hat

New, 3 comments

Named after Godric Gryffindor

Eriovixia gryffindori, named after Godric Gryffindor
Javed Ahmed

I thought the Niffler was my favorite fantastic beast, but I was wrong. This new spider species discovered in India just topped the list — mainly because it exists in our real Muggle world.

Meet Eriovixia gryffindori, a spider species named after J.K. Rowling’s character Godric Gryffindor because it resembles Harry Potter’s sorting hat. This is how the three scientists who discovered the spider put it:

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.

The spider was described in the Indian Journal of Arachnology. After one of the study’s authors tweeted an image of the spider, noting the name’s origin, Rowling replied and approved the discovery.

The tiny spider — discovered in the forests in southwestern India — actually takes the “sorting hat” shape to look like a dry leaf in the daytime and escape predators. Ron would be happy to know that the specimen described in the study was euthanized and then preserved in ethanol.

But all I want to know is: can I pull out the sword of Gryffindor from its stomach?