A Spider Named for Lou Reed
by Gwen Pearson
One of the giants of music passed on this week, but I wanted to mention that he has been immortalized in spider taxonomy! Loureedia is a genus of velvet spiders that live underground, and named for the leader of the 60′s Velvet Underground.
Velvet spiders get their name from their lovely fuzzy coloration; you might have seen photos of the adorable Lady Bird Spider, pictured at right. Most velvet spiders are cryptic sit-and-wait predators in deserts. They typically live in silken tubes underground or under objects.
Mr. Reed’s namesake spiders do have a suitably rock-n-roll lifestyle; They decorate the roof of their underground burrow with their prey remnants, and juveniles feed on their mother’s corpse before dispersing. Loureedia spiders are found in Israel, which is an homage to the rocker’s Jewish roots. You can read the full paper online, but it’s a bit dry if you aren’t deeply interested in spider anatomy…
(read more: Wired Science)
images: Martin Foreman