Science fiction and fantasy have inspired the naming of many plants and animals. Some two decades ago, the intrepid zoological collector Harry Conley became the very first researcher to capture a maddeningly elusive species of crab, now named Harryplax severus. In honour of this spectacular discovery, the crab was given Conley’s first name. And, in honour of the crab’s impressive ability to keep its identity such a well-guarded secret, the illusive crustacean was given a second name inspired by Harry Potter’s teacher, Severus Snape. Writing in Zoekeys, Jose Mendoza and Peter Ng said they had named the new species severus as an allusion to the notorious and misunderstood potions master “for his ability to keep one of the most important secrets in the story”.