New water spider species named in honour of surfing legend, after naming contest

Main report: New Spider Species Honours Surfing Icon
(World Science Festival (Australia))
Other Reporting: ABC News (Australia)
Scientific Paper:    
New Taxa: Pisauridae mickfanningi
Common Name: Masked Wood Spider
Species named for: Mick Fanning
Categories: Arachnids | Celebrity Taxa | New Species
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A newly discovered water spider has been named for champion Australian Mick Fanning. The Queensland Museum actually let the public name the new species as part of the World Science Festival Brisbane, which took place in late March 2017. The public was asked to submit names inspired by the science festival and its setting in Queensland, and Brazilian arachnologist and surfing fan Hector Manuel Osório Gonzalez Filho submitted the name mickfanningi for the new water spider as a tribute to Fanning, whose favorite surfing spot is said to be Snapper Rocks in Queensland.  The new spider’s range is not far from Fanning’s favorite break, Snapper Rocks in Gold Coast, a city south of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast.  In 2016 a ‘surfing’ water spider was named after the World Science Festival co-founder and astrophysicist Brian Greene (see story).  This year the surfing theme has followed suit, with the winning entry named for an Australian surfing legend.

A spider with the same pattern as Pisauridae mickfanningi on its back. Photo Credit: Ben Revell. Queensland Museum.




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