Iron Maiden is popular among biologists and taxonomists, so they just named a new lizard species after frontman Bruce Dickinson

A new species of wood lizard has been found in northeastern Peru, and the biologists involved in the discovery have named it after legendary heavy metal musician and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. According to Louder:

Enyalioides dickinsoni was found in the Cordillera de Colán mountain range 460 miles north of Lima, Peru. The species will be known as 'Dickinson's wood lizards' in English. 

According to the Journal of Vertebrate Biology website, "Enyalioides dickinsoni can be distinguished from all known species of Enyalioides, except E. azulae, by the combination of the following characters: 1) a distinctively low vertebral crest, with the crest on neck at most twice as high as the crest between hind limbs; 2) scales immediately posterior to superciliaries on lateral edge of skull barely projected and similar in height to adjacent scales; 3) 56-71 vertebral scales from occiput to base of tail; 4) dorsal scales feebly keeled and heterogeneous in size; 5) ventral scales keeled; 6) tail circular in cross-section; and 7) caudal scales heterogeneous, increasing in size posteriorly on each segment."

Planet Radio provides more details about the naming and the importance of the discovery:

"Bruce Dickinson is not only a legend in the world of heavy metal, but also an inspiration to many due to his diverse talents and accomplishments," said Dr. Alessandro Catenazzi, a Peruvian biologist involved in the discovery. 

"Naming this new species after him is our way of recognizing his influence and paying homage to his many passions."

Dr. Scott L. Travers, a U.S. biologist who participated in the expedition, adds: "The Amazon's rich biodiversity is a treasure trove of undiscovered species and natural wonders. 

"The discovery of 'Enyalioides dickinsoni' highlights the importance of collaborative scientific research and conservation efforts in protecting this vital region for future generations."

Pablo Venegas and colleagues, whose findings were published in the Journal of Vertebrate Biology, January 31, 2024, highlight in the journal article the many reasons why naming the lizard after Bruce Dickinson makes perfect sense:

The specific name is a noun in the genitive form and is a patronym honouring Paul Bruce Dickinson (born 7 August 1958), who is best known as the lead singer of the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden, though he is also a music producer, entrepreneur, competitive fencer, novelist, aviator, broadcaster and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards. In 2016, he flew a loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, that washed up on a Jersey beach to the Canary Islands in his private plane, thus contributing to the awareness and protection of this vulnerable species. We also highlight that Iron Maiden is a popular band among taxonomists and museum curators who appreciate rock music.

Previously: High School principal who enjoys Iron Maiden subject of dueling petitions