Let’s not kid ourselves. Spiders are creepy. Even cool-looking spiders are still enough to make normal people feel all squicky inside. It takes a special kind of person to devote time to studying, classifying, and discovering new species of spiders. However, people do it, and people find new species of spiders all the time. See, for example, the Spider In Black. A newly-discovered tarantula species has been named after Johnny Cash.
Amusingly enough, Aphonoplema johnnycashi was discovered in the hills of Calfornia near Folsom Prison. Researchers went through 3000 spiders, live and in museums, to narrow down the crowded genus into something more reasonable. Old names were tossed out, and interestingly enough, 14 new species were discovered. Fortunately for this spider, the man who discovered him isn’t a boy named Sue.
“It’s found along the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada mountains, and one of the places that’s there is Folsom Prison,” explained Chris Hamilton, who first discovered the species as a graduate student at Auburn University and who now works for the Florida Museum of Natural History. “It’s a perfect name. It fits the spider – it’s found around Folsom and the males are predominantly all black, so it fits his image. I have a Johnny Cash tattoo so I was very happy that it worked out that way.”
Tags: johnny cash, tarantula named after johnny cash, johnny cash tarantula, folsom prison, california, new tarantula species discovered in california, johnny cash tarantula species, Aphonoplema johnnycashi, chris hamilton, auburn university, florida museum of natural history