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A new species of jumping spider has been named after Eric Carle.

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March 15, 2021, 12:42pm

Here’s an unconventional literary award! A new type of jumping spider has been discovered and promptly named after children’s author Eric Carle.

The spider was discovered in a park in Hong Kong by naturalist Stefan Obenauer, who contacted the Manchester Museum, where it was deemed a new species. It then was named Uroballus Carlei, after Eric Carle, the logic being that the spider bears a strong resemblance to a caterpillar, one of Carle’s most famous protagonists (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), which in theory is cute but in a close-up photo is decidedly less so.

According to Roger Kendrick, an expert on Hong Kong’s butterflies and moths, Uroballus Carlei lives in the same woods as a few dozen species of “lichen moths,” whose caterpillars are bristly and brown. It’s likely that Uroballus Carlei imitates these lichen moth caterpillars, as predators tend to avoid said caterpillars given their toxicity (they retain toxic elements of the lichen they eat). Uroballus Carlei: furry, deceitful, jumping creatures. And as we can infer from their newly bestowed name, they’re hungry.

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