US entomologists have made the unusual choice of giving the name of country singer Johnny Cash to a new species of spider, a black tarantula recently discovered. The eight legged creature called Aphonopelma johnnycashi is completely black, all dressed as the artist died in 2003 when he sang with his guitar including "Man in Black", one of his successes.
"I'm a big fan of Johnny Cash," says Chris Hamilton, of the University of Auburn, Alabama, the senior author of the identification of 14 new spider species in the southwestern United States, whose Aphonopelma johnnycashi.
This work is published in the scientific journal zookeys. The biologist and several colleagues at Auburn University and Millsaps College in Mississippi have carefully considered tarantulas found in the southern United States west of the Mississippi.
For ten years they have examined and collected nearly 3,000 specimens in several states. They found that the species of tarantula now named Johnny Cash was widespread but had long been seen as another species called A. iodius.