New 'Johnny Cash' Tarantula Uproots Spider Family Tree
A challenging, decade-long search has revealed 14 new species of U.S. arachnid, a new study says.
A challenging, years-long survey has uncovered 14 new species of U.S. tarantula, including one named after Johnny Cash.
Some, like Aphonopelma madera, live on forested “sky islands,” mountains surrounded on all sides by Arizona’s deserts. Others, like the tiny Aphonopelma atomicum, nestle themselves in silk-lined burrows near Nevada’s nuclear test sites.
And Aphonopelma johnnycashi, named for the legendary country musician, makes its home near Folsom Prison, California.
True to form, adult males are mostly black, a getup of which Cash—the Man in Black—would have no doubt been proud. (Also see “New Tarantula (Not Beetle) Named After John Lennon.”)
To uncover the new species, a three-person team led by the Florida Museum of Natural History's Chris Hamilton spent