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Johnny Cashi has eight hairy legs

I wonder what the late Johnny Cash would have made of having a tarantula named after him?

It was reported this week that the legendary singer and songwriter has been honoured by having a new species of the eight-legged creepy crawly named Aphonopelma johnnycashi.

Luckily, a quick search around the internet establishes that Johnny Cash wasn’t known to be arachnophobic, although he is reported to have had fears of snakes (ophiophobia) and flying.

The newly discovered tarantula was named after it was discovered near Folsom Prison, California, where Cash famously played a series of concerts for inmates.

It might not sound particularly glamorous to have a tarantula named after you, but there are far worse things to be named after.

Bob Marley has a parasite (Gnathia marleyi) named after him after it was discovered by reggae fan and marine biologist Paul Sikkel.

Meanwhile, poor Beyonce unfortunately has a species of horse fly named after her (Scaptia beyonceae) because the scientist that discovered it said the dense golden hairs on the its abdomen reminded him of the singer.

John Cleese does a lot better – he has a cuddly lemur named after him (Avahi cleesei), apparently because he was a supporter of nature conservation and particularly loved lemurs.

I think this question should be featured in personality tests: what discovery should be named after you and why?

Mine would have to be a species of hamster as I definitely come alive at night and like to hibernate in the winter and stock up on lots of food; not sure I am quite as cute looking though!


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