With the death of David Bowie yesterday the world of music and art and fashion lost a cultural icon. As well as remembering his incredible music and ground-breaking visual and social statements, the great man is immortalised in the name of a huntsman spider: Heteropoda davidbowie.
I’ve not seen the original paper that named it, but it was presumably because the bright orange hair that covers the spider’s body reminded the author of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust period in the early 70s, and the name of Ziggy’s band – The Spiders From Mars.
That other recently deceased rock icon, Lemmy Kilmister, also has a species named for him – an extinct polychaete worm called Kalloprion kilmisteri – apparently named “in honor of Lemmy of Motörhead, for musical inspiration during the course of [studying the fossil]”.
I’ll miss them both: biodiversity rocks!
With thanks to my friend and colleague Professor Stewart Thompson for bringing the spider to my attention.