A New Spider named after a Rockstar

Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, a new species of trapdoor arachnid found by Jason Bond was named after the famous rockstar Neil Young. Bond discovered this new kind of arachnid last year in Jefferson Co., Ala and it was then formally added to the genus of spiders after he co-wrote it with Norman I. Platnick of the Museum of Natural History in New York.

 According to Bond, he really enjoyed the music of Young and he really admires him for being an activist for peace and justice making him worthy of the name of his new discovery. He also said that as long as one follows the rules on naming new species, he can call his new species whatever name he wants.

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Bond stated that variations in the genitalia of spider species dictate the distinguishing factors of spiders belonging to trapdoor genus. He also concluded that M. neilyoungi was unidentifiable through series of tests on its DNA making it a separate species of trapdoor spiders.

Scientists conducted some examinations on Bond’s new spider to determine both its physical feature and genetic material to fully identify this new type of arachnid. Since spiders have the most distinguished genitalia in the animal kingdom, scientists and taxonomist must be very clear in differences on the genitalia of one spider species to another.

The Myrmekiaphelia genus refers to the family of trapdoor spiders that burrows and creates a trap door to protect its quarters from parasites and predators. According to Platnick, these spiders are also capable producing and using silk as adaptation mechanism. But unlike other type of silk producing-spiders, this new type of spider uses silk to create linings and traps on their burrows instead of making webs out of them that serves as their catch area.