Legendary Beatles singer John Lennon has been honored around the world in many ways but most recently, in South America, the founding member of the Beatles band was commemorated in a unique fashion: by having a new tarantula species being named after him.
The tarantula species, which habitats the Western Brazilian Amazonia and belongs to the family Theraphosidae, has been named Bumba lennoni according to a study published in the open access journal ZooKeys. The creature, which is believed to be nocturnal, was captured in Caxiuaná, Pará, Brazil.
Curious how the name came to be? The authors of the study — Fernando Pérez-Miles from the University of the Republic, Uruguay and Alexandre Bonaldo and Laura Miglio from the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Brazil —discovered that they were all huge fans of the Beatles. Upon this discovery, they decided to honor Lennon.
"I am a fan of The Beatles — I visited London and Liverpool following their history and I went to four shows of Paul McCartney: two at Buenos Aires and two at Montevideo," shared Pérez-Miles with Latin Times. "I have been waiting to dedicate a species to Lennon for a while; waiting for a good relation between the place of collection or any characteristic of the spider and John. But, as I work mainly with New World spiders, this relation was difficult to find. So I decided not to wait anymore and to dedicate this species to Lennon. I asked my co-authors and they agreed!"
As for the genus name "Bumba," it is a reference to a Brazilian theatrical folk tradition in the annual Boi-bumbá (hit my bull) festival that takes place in North and Northeastern Brazil.
"I have been studying spiders of the Amazonic region in several field trips," explained Pérez-Miles. "In one of them, I loved the dance and music of the folk festival of the Boi-Bumbá and this is the inspiration to the name Bumba."