Taylor Swift joins the all-star ensemble of creepy crawlies
Taylor Swift may have been referring to this scurrying bug in “Shake it Off.”
A millipede discovered in the Appalachian Mountains was recently titled after her.
The Nannaria swiftae is one of 17 new millipede species found in the area.
“Naming a new millipede species after her is my way of giving thanks,” said Virginia Tech entomologist Derek Hennen.
Swift’s spokesperson has been contacted for comment.
They like to lurk just below the soil surface to eat rotting leaves and plant materials.
Their stealthy nature made them tough to evaluate, experts added. As part of a multi-year experiment, Hennen and his colleagues searched beneath rocks, leaves, and logs for millipedes lurking under them.
In their research published in the open-access journal ZooKeys, they discovered over 1800 animals, including some existing in university and museum collections.
The new Nannaria millipedes have a brown to a black trunk with white, red, or orange markings and white legs. Male Nannaria millipedes have “twisted” claws on their front legs.
It follows a long line of luminaries honored in binomial nomenclature, including:
- The Ebo forest’s Uvariopsis Dicaprio tree is named after actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio.
- The Skywalker hoolock gibbon, like the Jedi, is an endangered species in China.
- Arachnologist and enthusiast Aphonopelmajohnny cashier called a tarantula Aphonopelmajohnny cashier after trapping one near Folsom State Prison in dry Sacramento County, California.
- Craspedotropis gretathunberga is named after climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
- Pristimantisled zeppelin is a rare rain frog found in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Ecuador.
- The author called the ancient “vampire squid” SyllipsimopodiBideni after President Joe Bien, claiming it was a homage to the oldest president in US history.
- At least ten new species have been named after former President Barack Obama, including fish, spiders, parasites, a bird, an extinct reptile, and a symbiotic lichen – the first creature to bear his name.
- A Madagascar hissing cockroach “Keith” in 2020 to honor Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ 77th birthday.