This newly-discovered ant species is named after Radiohead

Radiohead has been honored with a new species of ant named after the iconic band - Sericomyrmex radioheadi. But if you're an original, experimental band that has weathered the storms of britpop, alt-rock and even electronica, you might hope the creature to take on your mighty moniker would be larger than... an ant. Following the likes of Bono, who has a spider named after him, and Lady Gaga, who has a family of ferns named after her, Radiohead has inspired the name of a newly discovered species of "fungus-farming ant", Mashable reported.

"But more importantly, we wanted to acknowledge the conservation efforts of the band members, especially in raising climate change awareness", she said.

Sericomyrmex translates literally as "silky ants" and it is a lesser-known relative of the more famous leaf-cutter ants.

They've won numerous awards and garnered various plaudits over the course of their long career, but a new honour has been bestowed upon Radiohead. They, too, were too overwhelmed with pride to respond.

Both the chemical composition and the function of this layer are unclear.

Figuring out if this crystal-like layer has a role in protecting these ants' fungus gardens might provide clues for managing diseases in human agriculture and medicine.

The Sericomyrmex genus is only about four million years old, in evolutionary terms, and is the most recently evolved genus of fungus-farming ants. As such, the team admits that the species they've classified might actually be multiple species that look alike.

  • Salvatore Jensen