Actor Tom Hardy has had a new species of venomous spider named after him.
Venomius tomhardyi, discovered in Tasmania, Australia, was named after his Marvel
character Venom that he portrayed in the films “Venom” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”.
In the hit films, Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock and his alter-ego “Venom”, an antihero closely associated with Spider-Man.
The spider, the only current species of the genus Venomius, was named after the distinctive black spots on its abdomen that reminded the scientists of Venom’s head.
The genus belongs to the Araneidae family of spiders that build upright circular webs to capture prey.
Despite resembling the related genus Phonognatha as both do not have nodules on the abdomen, the newly described spiders are distinct in their behavior of creating silk-lined holes in the branches of trees for shelter, as well as their different genitalia.
The researchers from Murdoch University in Perth and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro obtained more specimens from scientific collections after examining approximately 12,000 records in Australia and overseas.
The new species was discovered and subsequently preserved at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery following an expedition to Tasmania and is described in the journal Evolutionary Systematics.
Dr. Pedro Castanheira said: “This is part of a long-term research that aims to document the entire Australian spider fauna, which will be of extreme importance for conservation management plans and the continuation of the decadal plan for taxonomy and biosystematics in Australia and New Zealand.”
First author of the study Giullia Rossi added: “It is really important to keep describing new spiders to assess the total biodiversity of these predators in Australia.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker