After a City Prison, a New Species Named after Singer Johnny Cash in Folsom

After a City Prison, a New Species Named after Singer Johnny Cash in Folsom

One of the 14 new species of tarantulas is named after the country music legend Johnny Cash. Another species has been named after Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”, the city prison in Folsom, California. The species is called “Johnny Cash” tarantula, or Aphonopelma johnnycashi.

The study was conducted by an Auburn University team. According to Chris Hamilton, a postdoctoral researcher who was part of the team, the species are not named after a famous personality but for their uniqueness. “Some of my favorite names are Aphonopelma johnnycashi, obviously, named because this new species can be found around Folsom Prison and males are generally all black, which fits Johnny Cash’s persona”, said Hamilton in an email.

This newly discovered species was named by Hamilton; he named it so to make local people realize that these species are not found in remote areas rather in their backyards. The species is big, hairy and poisonous. The creature measures 15 centimetres across and comes in black colour. Hamilton with the team spent more than a decade searching for tarantulas in locations ranging from scorching deserts to frigid mountains in the American south-west. They analyzed nearly 3,000 specimens of taxonomic tarantula. Their findings were published in the journal ZooKeys.

He claims that he didn’t collect the specimen of the species from an area within Folsom city boundaries rather around the area such as ones around Placerville, Auburn and Plymouth and particularly around Folsom Lake and in neighborhoods near Highway 50. He called the creature as completely harmless. Another tarantula in the study was found in ancestral area of the Cahuilla people and was named Aphonopelma xwalxwal; xwalxwal means “spider” in these people’s language.