aragog

The Web Goes Wild for New Arachnid Species Named After Literary Spiders

For anyone who hates creepy crawlers, turn away now. However, if you see spiders for the fascinating little creatures that they are, you may want to read this. That also goes for fans of some of the best fantasy literature in history. Since I’m the one my family calls when there is a spider in the house that needs to be put outside, I now feel like my task is actually bigger than it seems.

 

New Spiders

Image Via Pensoft blog 

As discussed in CNet’s article, there has recently been a discovery by Doctors Antonio Brescovit and Igor Cizauskas along with Leandro Mota from Instituto Butantan in Sao Paolo. Seven new spiders were found deep within the caves of Northern Brazil. They’re of the Neotropical genus Ochyrocera, meaning they’re present mostly in South America in a warmer temperate zone.

 

What makes them so strange? They don’t have the common features of cave dwelling spiders like a lack of pigment and eyesight due to their acclamation of the dark, dank environment. However, they are pretty small and only have six eyes rather than eight.

 

New spiders

Image Via O Eco

What makes them so special? They were all given names after notable literary spiders! From Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, these are some damn cool arachnids.

 

Ochyrocera varys: Named after Lord Varys (a.k.a. The Spider) from George R.R. Martin’s novel A Song of Fire and Ice.

 

Ochyrocera atlachnacha: This ties directly to Atlach-Nacha, the spider god in H.P. Lovecraft’s horror tales.

 

Ochyrocera laracna: The spider who attacks Frodo and Sam on their way to Mordor in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers. Known as ‘Shelob’ in English.

 

Ochyrocera ungoliant: This is Laracna’s mother Ungoliant in The Silmarillion after The Two Towers. Quite fitting since her name translates to ‘Dark Spider’ in lovely Elvish language.

 

Ochyrocera aragogue: Yes you guessed it; this is from J.K. Rowling’s The Chamber of Secrets honoring Aragog in the Forbidden Forest.

 

Ochyrocera misspider: David Kirk’s popular and adorable children’s book series Little Miss Spider is the inspiration for this critter.

 

Ochyrocera charlotte: This one sparks nostalgia with an homage to E.B. White’s famous spider Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web.

 

As long as these guys aren’t the same size as the characters they’re named after, then it’s all good with me.

 

Feature Image Via The Harry Potter Lexicon