Arachnophilia!: ECU biologist gives nod to Stephen Colbert

Arachnologist and diplopodologist Dr Jason E Bond at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, is most recently well-known for naming a spider (Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi) after Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Neil Young.

Kristin Day of The Daily Reflector is now reporting that Professor Bond has agreed to name a spider after Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's host of "The Colbert Report."

When news emerged in May that Bond had named a species of trapdoor spider after Neil Young, the biologist could not escape Colbert's web:

"Where's my spider? I have lots of animals named after me: turtles, eagles, Ontario Junior League hockey mascots.

"The world demands an eight-legged tribute to Stephen Colbert and I do not mean another barbershop quartet."

Bond missed the episode when it first aired, but after hearing about it from a friend, watched it online and contacted the ECU News Bureau.

"I said I would name a spider after him if he would like," Bond said.

Colbert will have to choose a species and can reveal [when the live show comes back from vacation] its new Bond-given name: Aptastichus stephencolberti.

Heck, I don't even study spiders and millipedes but I really enjoyed cruising around the lab's website. Moreover, I really like Bond's mindset in using his discoveries to reel in public interest:

Bond said he's happy to name a spider after the late-night talk-show host because of the exposure it will bring to biodiversity, citing the importance of those who document the effects individual species have on the ecosystem. He said he's been inundated with e-mails from people who want to name species after loved ones; he might even auction off these names to raise money for ECU research.

Day reports that Bond has named other spiders after his wife (smart move there, chief) and Nelson Mandela.

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