A terrestrial leech from Australia is being named after Amy Tan, Chinese American author of best-seller The Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, announced the American Museum of Natural History.
The tiny leech, scientifically dubbed Chtonobdella tanae, is the first new soft-bodied invertebrate to be imaged with computed tomography (CT) scanning.
Tan has accompanied the curator of invertebrate zoology, Mark Siddal, for the field research of such creatures.
“Amy, long a supporter of the work we do here, is someone we knew would consider it an honor, not an insult, to have a leech named for her,” said Siddal. “These jungle leeches are mentioned several times in her hilarious novel Saving Fish from Drowning.”
Tan is “thrilled to be immortalized as Chtonobdella tanae.”
“Imagine the possibilities for identifying legions of tiny squashable organisms that have thus far lived in obscurity. I am now planning my trip to Queensland, Australia, where I hope to take leisurely walks through the jungle, accompanied by a dozen or so of my namesake feeding on my ankles,” Tan said.