New spider species an homage to David Bowie

Here’s an interesting tidbit for your Friday.

A new species of sparassid spider (pictured) from Malaysia has been named after David Bowie. Peter Jäger, an arachnologist at the Senckenberg research institute in Germany, says he named the spider —  Heteropoda davidbowie — after the English rock star in an effort to raise awareness about endangered spiders. Bowie’s 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, earned him this honor.

It’s tough for spiders to make endangered species lists, Jäger says, so they can use all the publicity they can get. The Guardian reports that there are fewer than 500 individuals of H. davidbowie left in the wild, as its island habitat is cleared for resorts.