'Punk rock snail' named after Joe Strummer

A new species of sea snail has been named after the lead singer of The Clash, Joe Strummer.

Alviniconcha strummeri is one of five new species of Alviniconcha described by a team from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). The snails live in the hottest and most acidic waters near hydrothermal vents. The conditions are so extreme that the shells of the snails are severely degraded, covered or spikes — or even non-existent.

The genus was originally described as monotypic with A. hessleri as its only member, but DNA sequencing has revealed there are actually six species.

Alviniconcha strummeri is named to highlight the 'hardcore' nature of these snails from the Indo-Pacific, while also recognising the spiky surface of the snail's shell, which researchers say resembles the fashion of punk rock bands.

The Clash formed in 1976 and were part of the original wave of British punk. Joe Strummer died suddenly in December 2002 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.