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Nutty Nomenclature

Nutty Nomenclature

All species of organism are given their own specific name by the taxonomist who first describes them.  Every now and again the taxonomists allow themselves to have a little bit of fun.  This is our guide to some more mischievously named species.

Apopyllus now

Don’t get it? Wake up and smell the napalm!

What is it?
A pretty mean looking little spider in the family Gnaphosidae. Commonly known as sac spiders, they're active mainly at night when they hunt down their prey.

Where’s it found? Curaçao, an island just off the coast of Venezuela. It's where the drink of the same name comes from.

When was it first named? 1984.

Who deserves the credit? Norman I. Platnick, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr Mohammad Shadab, Doc Platnick's assistant.

Herpyllus Ecclesiasticus - a gnaphosid spider with a silly name. Image by Jon Triffo.Is there a picture? I can't find a picture of Apopyllus now anywhere. Instead, this is the excellently named Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, a different spider from the same family. Also worthy of note in Apopyllus' family is Amusia murina which, as far as I'm aware, means the tone-deaf bat. Which is a bit strange.

Coming soon in Nutty Nomenclature
: Pieza rhea and Heerz lukenatcha.

Other regulars:
Monday: Phunny Phobias
Wednesday: Doctor Doctor
Thursday: Peculiar Periodicals
Friday: End of week timewasters

All images with kind permission of Jon Triffo & Gayle and Jeanell Strickland

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20 Jul 2017
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