Cthulhu macrofasciculumque

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Cthulhu macrofasciculumque
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukarya
(unranked): Excavata
Phylum: Metamonada
Class: Parabasalia
Genus: Cthulhu
Species: C. macrofasciculumque
Binomial name
Cthulhu macrofasciculumque
James and Keeling, 2012

Cthulhu macrofasciculumque is a type of protist. It lives in the guts of termites.[1]

Habitat[edit]

It lives in the hindgut of Reticulitermes virginicus (the dark southeastern subterranean termite) and helps them to digest wood.[2]

Appearance[edit]

The microbe's length is about a fifth of the width of a human hair, in the range of 10 to 20 µm, and it has around 20 flagella. Cthylla is slightly smaller, with only five flagella.[3]

Naming[edit]

The octopus-like movements and appearance of Cthulhu macrofasciculumque (as well as another protist that assists in the digestion of wood by termites) reminded researcher Erick James of Cthulhu, H. P. Lovecraft's fictional cosmic entity. James named the other protist, Cthylla macrofasciculumque, after Cthulhu's "daughter" Cthylla.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James, Erick R.; Okamoto, Noriko; Burki, Fabien; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H.; Keeling, Patrick J.; Badger, Jonathan H. "Cthulhu Macrofasciculumque n. g., n. sp. and Cthylla Microfasciculumque n. g., n. sp., a Newly Identified Lineage of Parabasalian Termite Symbionts". PLoS ONE 8 (3): e58509. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058509. PMC 3601090. PMID 23526991. 
  2. ^ Netburn, Deborah (5 April 2013). "A teeny tiny Cthulhu monster, found in a termite's gut". L. A. Times. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ O'Carroll, Eoin (5 April 2013). "Cthulhu fhtagn! Indescribably terrifying microbes named for Lovecraft monsters.". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 9 April 2013.