RESEARCHERS scouring The Dark Side of the Lagoon have discovered a new species of shrimp with a prog rock twist.

The pistol shrimp with a striking pink-coloured claw has today been named after rock pioneers Pink Floyd by the music-mad academics who found it.

Head of research at the Oxford Museum of Natural History Sammy De Grave was one of the team who discovered Synalpheus pinkfloydi off the Pacific coast of Panama.

On each research trip he can expect to find between five and 10 new species, but he said it was clear this discovery was more than just Another Shrimp in the Wall.

Dr De Grave said: "When we found this one it was special.

"We always said that when we found a new one with pink we would name it after Pink Floyd.

"It has a really bright pink claw, which is quite unusual in shrimp, most have claws that are quite drab.

"I have been listening to Floyd since The Wall was released in 1979, when I was 14.

"I've seen them play live several times since.

"The description of this new species of pistol shrimp was the perfect opportunity to finally give a nod to my favourite band."

Pistol shrimps, or snapping shrimps, have an ability to generate substantial amounts of sonic energy.

By closing its enlarged claw at rapid speed the shrimp creates a high-pressure cavitation bubble.

When this bubble implodes it results in one of the loudest sounds in the ocean – strong enough to stun or even kill a small fish.

And when it came to naming the species, Dr De Grave, who has worked at the Museum of Natural History for 16 years, said: "You have quite a lot of freedom naming new species.

"You are not supposed to be offensive or name it after yourself, but other than that you have a lot of freedom."

The researcher added that he and the rest of the ream had contacted Pink Floyd's David Gilmour last week with the news of their discovery but had yet to hear back from the star.

Last month, researchers from universities including Oxford discovered a new fossil - a distant relation to the shrimp - which they named after Sir David Attenborough in honour of the broadcaster's 90th birthday.

The latest shrimp discovery has been officially named in today's Zootaxa journal by Dr De Grave and his fellow researchers Dr Arthur Anker of the Universidade Federal de Goias in Brazil and Dr Kristin Hultgren of Seattle University in the United States.

Dr Anker said: "I often play Pink Floyd as background music while I'm working, but now the band and my work have been happily combined in the scientific literature."

Synalpheus pinkfloydi is not the only pistol shrimp with such a lurid claw.

It is closely related to Synalpheus antillensis, discovered in 1909, which lives in the western Atlantic.

But Dr De Grave, Dr Anker and Dr Hultgren found that the two species show considerable genetic divergence, granting Synalpheus pinkfloydi a new species status and its own name.