Greta Thunberg’s name for a new species of spider – Erakina

Greta Thunberg, quite a popular name in the field of environment and the entire world has been honoured again, yet in a new manner. A newly discovered species of spider has been named after her. 

For the unknown, Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist known for challenging world leaders to take immediate measures regarding climatic change mitigation. She was also TIME’s Person of the Year 2019 and is the recipient of other awards and honours. 

Her fame has leapt such bounds that she has been honoured by naming a new species of spiders after her. This new species was discovered in June 2020 in Madagascar. 

The new admission 

The new species has been found among the Huntsman Spiders. It is a newly found species named Thunberga greta, named by the German arachnologist Peter Jager. The spider is in a new genus named Thunberga gen nov. 

Thunberga greta spider
The newly discovered spider in Madagascar.

These recent eight-legged animals were found in the forests of Madagascar. Till 2020, only one was found but the year 2021 has welcomed 25 more species of the ‘Greta Spider’. 

They all have been named after prominent personalities and environmental fanatics around the world. The arachnologists from Frankfurt have named these critters after Jyoti Kumari, Malala Yousafzai and Boyan Slat. 

Jyoti Kumari, from India, was honoured when she bicycled 1,200km with her injured father to reach their village during the Covid-19 lockdown. Boyan Slat, a Dutch inventor and entrepreneur who creates technological remedies for global problems related to the environment. He’s the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup.

 Boyan Slat
The owner of The Ocean Cleanup

According to Dr Peter Jager of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, nearly one and a half years ago, nothing much was known about them but the discovery of 25 more spider species in the genus has helped the researchers to a greater extent. 

How is the species so unusual? 

The differences between the Huntsman Spiders and Thunberga huntsman spiders can be summed up by certain points as mentioned:- 

  • The females possess unique dotted patterns on their backs.
  • The males and the young ones lack the dot pattern. 
  • These spiders do not spin webs, unlike other usual spiders.
  • They hunt at night time in foliage and might seize the prey inside flowers.
The dotted pattern on the spider.
Only females are found to possess such scars

The occurrence of dotted patterns resemble scars that were absent on male crawlies. It is being assumed that these scars are marked with the fangs of the male before or during the mating process. 

These creepy crawling eight-legged species are native to Madagascar and are found in restricted areas only. 

Why was Greta’s name taken? 

While naming the new species after Greta Thunberg, Jager was much concerned about their dwindling population due to the rapid loss of forests and natural habitats in Madagascar. 

Greta Thunberg
The Swedish environmental activist

As Greta is among the leading naturalists he could draw the attention of the world towards the burning issue. 

He wanted to bring the threat to species diversity of Madagascar to everyone’s notice using her name. 

It is not one person’s responsibility to ensure that the environment is preserved or we have to stand against the harm done. We all need to be well aware of our degrading nature and the harmful effects of the degradation. 

Today it stands eliminating the animals, tomorrow it will be ready to engulf all of us…


Content Writer (Erakina by RTMN)


Tags: Greta Thunberg, spider

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