Thunberga gen. nov. is a new genus of huntsman spiders from Madagascar named after Swedish eco activist Greta Thunberg, The Local Sweden reports.
The German arachnologist Peter Jager named the new spider species after the wunderkind in honour of her commitment to tackling climate change. Thus, the Swedish climate teen can add to her list of personal accolades. One of them is TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, indeed.
Now, the group of spiders named after Ms Thunberg, said Jager who has participated in several protests inspired by Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate.
“The rising temperatures affect all areas of nature -– including the endemic diversity and spider fauna of Madagascar,” Peter said.
In a study printed in the scientific journal Zootaxa, Jager explained that the new genus differed from other huntsmans in their eye arrangement and unique dotted patterns on their backs.
For Jager, who has discovered several new spider species in a career spanning 20 years, the name for new species was obvious. The scientist confessed he hoped that by naming the creepy crawlies after Swed teen he could draw attention to the issue of biodiversity loss in Madagascar.
Jager likes to name new species after famous people. He named a previous discovery of Southeast Asian huntsman spider Heteropoda davidbowie.
Unlike most spiders, huntsman don’t spin webs and hunt and forage instead for their food. During his latest expedition, Jager also discovered a heretofore unknown species of huntsman on the island.
Its name is Thunberga great, and the full study printed in the scientific journal Zootaxa.