StarStruck: Species Named After Celebrities

Neil Young's spider

Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, neil young's spider

(Image credit: ECU News Services.)

A sneaky spider has been named in honor of rock musician Neil Young. Jason Bond, a biologist at East Carolina University, named a newly discovered arachnid, Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. It is also known as a trapdoor spider. Bond said of the naming: "With regards to Neil Young, I really enjoy his music and have had a great appreciation of him as an activist for peace and justice."

Rockin' beetle

Roy Orbison beetle

(Image credit: Charles J. Kazilek, Arizona State University)

A new species of beetle that appears as if wearing a tuxedo has been named in honor of the late rock 'n' roll legend Roy Orbison and his widow Barbara. Entomologist Quentin Wheeler of Arizona State University announced the discovery and naming of the beetle, now dubbed Orectochilus orbisonorum, during a Roy Orbison Tribute Concert on Jan. 25.

Goldfinger wasp

tiny wasp

(Image credit: Matt Buffington)

Pycnostigmus mastersonae: named after Jill Masterson, who died of skin suffocation in the James Bond movie 'Goldfinger'; the name refers to the metallic sheen on this species (very unusual).

Bonded wasp

james bond wasp

(Image credit: Matt Buffington)

Ganaspidium flemingi: named after Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels

Tiny henchman

henchman wasp

(Image credit: Matt Buffington)

Anacharoides nicknacki; named after Francisco Scaramanga's henchman Nick-nack in the James Bond movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun'; the name refers to the diminutive size of this species.

Jennifer Welsh

Jennifer Welsh is a Connecticut-based science writer and editor and a regular contributor to Live Science. She also has several years of bench work in cancer research and anti-viral drug discovery under her belt. She has previously written for Science News, VerywellHealth, The Scientist, Discover Magazine, WIRED Science, and Business Insider.