Spider in black: Scientist names tarantula after Johnny Cash
Researcher Chris Hamilton said the spider’s black coloration reminded him of its celebrity namesake.
Newly-described tarantula Aphonopelma johnnycashi bit a man in Reno just to watch him die. (img: Chris A. Hamilton) pic.twitter.com/uT3guSgtFK— Charles Bergquist (@cbquist) February 4, 2016
Found in abundance near California’s Folsom Prison, the inspiration behind Cash’s legendary album and hit single, Aphonopelma johnnycashi’s new name is part of a massive nomenclature reorganization, reducing 55 different types of tarantula in the US down to just 29 distinct species.
"It's a perfect name," Hamilton told the BBC. "It fits the spider – it's found around Folsom and the males are predominantly all black, so it fits his image."
Hamilton adds the spiders aren’t dangerous and won’t bite unless agitated, so there shouldn’t be any cry, cry, crying over the shedding of flesh and blood.
Cash isn’t the first celebrity to have a new species named after him with David Bowie, Bob Marley, and Beyonce Knowles receiving scientific homages.