新種のクモに「バラク・オバマ」と命名、アメリカでトタテグモが新たに33種発見される

トタテグモ
バラク・オバマグモ

アメリカで33種のトタテグモが新種として発見され、その内のひとつがバラク・オバマ米大統領にちなんで『Aptostichus barackobamai』と命名された。

トタテグモは土の中に暮らすクモ。地面に穴を掘り、入口に開閉可能な戸(蓋)を作って巣にしている。この蓋は巣穴の裏打ちとつながったトラップになっており、何も知らない虫たちがその上を通ると一瞬で襲いかかり穴の中に引きずりこむ。まるでハンターのような蜘蛛だ。

[※トタテグモが獲物を捕らえる動画(ちょっと気持ち悪いので注意!)]

トタテグモはこれまで7種しか確認されていなかったが、今回で一気に40種にまで増えた。新種を発見した米オーバーン大学のクモ学者Jason E. Bond教授によると、メスのトタテグモは最長で30年間生きるものもいるらしい。一方でオスは、成虫になるまで5~7年過ごし、交尾してから死んでしまうそうだ。

どうして新種のクモに大統領の名前を付けたのか、その理由はよくわからないない。ちなみにオバマ大統領は、スパイダーマンの大ファンとして知られている。

また、今回の件とは直接関係ないが、オバマ大統領が小さなスパイダーマンと戯れる微笑ましい写真(下)がTwitterに公開されバイラルになった。大統領が、タイム誌『パーソン・オブ・ザ・イヤー2012』に選出されたのと同じ日のことだ。

小さなスパイダーマンと戯れるオバマ大統領
via twitter

Bond教授は今回発見した他の新種にも、人気バンド「U2」のボーカルのボノにちなんで「Aptostichus bonoi」というユニークな名前を付けている。

参考記事:「wired.com

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