A new species of peculiarly shaped spider has been named after the owner of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.
It's almost as if the Sorting Hat Apparated to a forest in southern India where it was poorly transfigured into a spider. The spider was discovered the Kans forests of central Western Ghats, Karnataka, researchers report in a paper published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology.
In profile, the spider bears an uncanny resemblance to the Hogwarts sorting hat as depicted in the Harry Potter franchise films.
The spider has been named 'Eriovixia gryffindori', after Godric Gryffindor, the character who originally owned the Sorting Hat.
In a section in the paper on the etymological reasoning for the new spider's name, the authors wrote: "This uniquely shaped spider derives its name from the fabulous, sentient magical artefact, the sorting hat, owned by the (fictitious) medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
Eriovixia gryffindori is nocturnal and during daylight hours its shape and colouring give it camouflage to blend in with dead, dry foliage.
Lead researcher Javed Ahmed alerted Harry Potter author JK Rowling to the discovery on Twitter. Rowling was impressed, replying with a picture of a Times of India news story on the unusual spider:
The researchers hope that the newly discovered spider's name will inspire interest in the world of arachnids. The name is "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", they write.