A Star Wars character just gave its name to a previously unknown species of catfish. The scientific name of the fish? Peckoltia greedoi. The name of the Star Wars character it resembles? Yep, Greedo, the character who was infamously shot by Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina.
Jonathan Armbruster, who is biological sciences professor and curator of fishes at the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, named the new species of fish after the Star Wars: A New Hope bounty hunter because they share similar physical traits, including wide eyes and a puckered mouth.
“I think it was the whole package that evoked Greedo, but particularly the eyes and the underslung mouth,” said Armbruster, who made the connection back in September with his colleagues David Werneke, Milton Tan and Chris Hamilton.
The specimens themselves were first discovered back in 1998 by researchers along the Gurupi River in Brazil. Armbruster got his hands on some of the fishes in 2005 from a museum in Porto Alegre. At the time, he was writing a manuscript on the genus because he thought they were “unusual.” In a 2008 paper, he labeled them as another current species, Peckoltia vittata, “although I had not been comfortable with that designation,” he revealed. It took him a few years, but when he examined them again this past September, he realized not only that they were Peckoltia vittata as he first thought, but he and his colleagues were also struck by the similarities with Greedo.
“As a 7-year-old kid, I watched Star Wars in the theater, and it was a life-changing experience for me,” said Armbruster. “I became a lifelong fan, and I now share that with my son. Greedo has always been a personal favorite of mine.”
What do you think about the resemblance between this new catfish species and Greedo?