Dr. Peter Jäger, expert consultant to the nature television show “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan,” discovered a new spider and named it after “Lord of the Rings” actor Monaghan. As most readers of TORn will already know, Monaghan was Merry in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel and also stars on the TV show Jäger is a consultant for (Monaghan was also narrator for our very own documentary feature RINGERS: Lord of the Fans). In a story reported by Science 2.0, the scientist explains his naming choice:
“He places nature in the foreground in a very special manner,” says Jäger, when explaining the dedication of the new spider species. The spider expert also appeared in front of the camera with the actor in a river cave when Monaghan got to meet his eight-legged namesake in its natural habitat.
As the scientist who discovered the creature, he is given the honor of naming it and he gave Monaghan the honor of lending his last name to its official scientific denotation (you’ll remember this ‘binomial nomenclature’ from your High School Science class), Ctenus monaghani, with Ctenus as the species genus with monaghani denoting Monaghan’s passion for species that may be less popular among humans. Thanks to spy Fritzi-M for bringing this to our attention.
The official citation provided by the story:
Citation: JÄGER, P. (2013) Ctenus monaghani spec. nov., a nocturnal hunter from the forest floor in Laos (Araneae: Ctenidae) — Zootaxa 3670 (1): 091–093 dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3670.1
Discover more about Dom’s show on the official BBC America site here!