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New Species of Tarantula from South America Named after John Lennon

New Tarantula

Image credit: Laura Miglio.

Although it is natural for an entomologist to name a beetle after the previously famous band –the Beetles, it is such a rare everyday occurrence to discover a new species. Actually Fernando Pérez-Miles, a scientist was intended to name a unknown tarantula after John Lennon, his long-time favorite idol.

In the interview with National Geographic, Pérez-Miles expressed his eagerness to dedicate such new species to Lennon, since he was a big fan of the Beatles.

Bumba lennoni, the unknown tarantula before, was found in a national forest in Pará, Brazil. It belonged to the family of Theraphosidae, in which Theraphosa blondi, or the Goliath bird-eater, the biggest spider species in the world. However, the body size of this species was only 1.3 inches, smaller than their relative who was dinner-plate-sized.

In 2005, scientists had actually captured back the specimens of this arachnid, however just recently, Pérez-Miles’ and his colleagues had identified its existence, claiming it was a totally new species. The team captured such species at night time, which meant they were nocturnal.

Similar to other tarantulas, on the abdomen of this new species, there grew defensive hairs, which could irritate the skin when it was touched. The scientists had found its distinguished character different from their close relatives; it showed that the males had an especially small sexual organ. Another unique feature of it was that there were a large number of small nodules around the mouth that would be probably helpful for them to crush prey.

Scientists named the genus as Bumba, after a very popular festival in Brazil known as Boi-bumbá (which meant “hit my bull” in local language) to replace the previous name Maraca. As the team suggested, the reason of naming this species as lennoni was chosen was that John Lennon had mad great contribution in making this world a gentler place.

Source: National GeographicPensoft Publishers and ZooKeys

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