Mick Fanning Honoured With New Water Spider Species Named After Him

Australia surfer’s Mick Fanning has a new claim to fame, with a recently discovered spider species being named after him, as quoted from Brisbane Times.

Photo: Ben Revell / WSL Ed Sloane

A worldwide competition that attracted hundreds of online entries has named a Queensland water spider in Fanning’s honour, the winning name coming from a Brazilian arachnologist – who was also a surfing fan.

Queensland Museum arachnologist Dr Robert Raven said the spider, named Pisauridae mickfanningi, was quite delicate and ornate with a beautiful pattern on its back.

“They all look very distinctive with magnificent styles and patterns, which can look like skeletons, ghosts or quite uniform,” he said.

“What makes this species even more special is that it has a very distinct colour pattern and quite different genitalia, which makes it quite easy to differentiate between others in the group.”

It can be found in the vine thickets and rainforests near Canungra in the Scenic Rim region, about 140 kilometres north-west of Mr Fanning’s favourite break – Snapper Rocks in Coolangatta.

“It’s an amazing-looking animal. It loves being next to water and has different colour patterns, just like Mick shows many different surfing styles,” Dr Raven said.

Fanning said it was quite a surprise to find out a new species of spider would share his namesake.

“It’s pretty awesome to know that the spider is quite local to the Gold Coast and only a short drive from Snapper.”

Queensland Museum Network chief executive and director Professor Suzanne Miller said it was the second year running that the World Science Festival Brisbane had played a part in naming a new species of spider.

“In 2016, we named a surfing spider Dolomedes briangreenei in honour of World Science Festival co-founder and astrophysicist Brian Greene and this year the surfing theme has followed suit, with the winning entry named for the Australian surfing legend,” she said.

The six-day competition was run on the World Science Festival website and entrants were asked to pick a name that captured the essence of not only the spider, but drew inspiration from World Science Festival Brisbane, World Water Day or a Queensland connection.

Read full article, here

Source: brisbanetimes.com.au / Toby Crockford


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