New Tarantula Named For Johnny Cash

Joins web of celebs with namesake arachnids.

Country legend Johnny Cash has been immortalized in many ways, but this is a new one: Scientists have named a new species of black spider after him, the Aphonopelma johnnycashi.

Discovered in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the region that houses the Folsom Prison, which Cash immortalized in his song “Folsom Prison Blues,” and later performed at, the tarantula was found roaming the desert. This is a rarity, Dr. Chris Hamilton told the BBC, as many previously undiscovered species are already preserved in jars and scientists just haven’t gotten around to them yet.

Once they identified it as a unique specimen, the naming process was easy.

“It’s a perfect name,” Hamilton explained. “It fits the spider—it’s found around Folsom and the males are predominantly all black, so it fits his image. I have a Johnny Cash tattoo so I was very happy that it worked out that way.”

Johnny Cash isn’t the only celebrity with a namesake spider: others include Bono, Stephen Colbert, Angelina Jolie, and Barack Obama. Watch the video above for more information.