May 12, 2008

Celebrity Naming of Cryptids

His name is Bond, Jason Bond.

Names are important, and Eastern Carolina University professor of biology Jason Bond has decided to name a new spider he discovered after his favorite musician. You may have already heard the story. It made me wonder after whom various Cryptomundians would name cryptids found to be new species? Heuvelmans? Sanderson? Meldrum? And tied to what cryptids?

Bond’s newly discovered trapdoor spider has officially been name Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.


Above is a male specimen of Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi living in Santa Rosa Co., Florida. (Credit: American Museum of Natural History)

“There are rather strict rules about how you name new species,” Bond said. “As long as these rules are followed you can give a new species just about any name you please. With regards to Neil Young, I really enjoy his music and have had a great appreciation of him as an activist for peace and justice.”

In 2007, Bond discovered the new spider species in Jefferson Co., Ala, and later co-wrote a paper with Norman I. Platnick, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, on the genus.

Bond received $750,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation in 2005 and 2006 to classify the trapdoor spider species and contribute to the foundation’s Tree of Life project. He is both a spider systematist – someone who studies organisms and how they are classified – and taxonomist – someone who classifies new species.


Above is an image of a female specimen of Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi also living in Santa Rosa Co., Florida. (Credit: American Museum of Natural History)

Spiders in the trapdoor genus are distinguished on the basis of differences in genitalia, Bond said, from one species to the next. He confirmed through the spider’s DNA that the Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi is an identifiable, separate species of spider within the trapdoor genus.

Roland Piquepaille mentions that in 2005 Cornell University named several beetles after Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Two entomologists at Cornell University who were to name several new species of slime-mold beetles have decided to honor U.S. President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, by naming them the Agathidium bushi of Southern Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia, while the Agathidium rumsfeldi and the Agathidium cheneyi of different regions of Mexico.

Who would you honor by naming a new species after someone tied to cryptozoology? What cryptids found in the future should be tied to whom?

Sources: East Carolina University, Roland Piquepaille, and Cornell University.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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