Garden Detective

Jessica Damiano's award-winning garden blog gets to the root of things.


Joshua Tree spider named after U2's Bono

As a gardener and garden columnist, I've long dreamed of having a rose named in my honor. Roses aren't even among my favorite flowers, I just think it would be really cool to overhear people at the nursery saying, "Oh, and give me three Jessica Damianos please," just as they would order up an Oprah Winfrey rose, or an Elizabeth Taylor.

U2's Bono actually was just honored in that way when a biologist at Auburn University in Alabama named an trapdoor spider species after him. Apparently, the species had no name.

Biologist Jason Bond actually identified 33 new species of trapdoor spiders, three of them from Joshua Tree National Park in California, according to Riverside Press-Enterprise report this morning. That's very groovy, considering the band's 1987 "Joshua Tree" album, which won 2 Grammy awards that year, was named for the park.

Bond reportedly named two of the Joshua Tree spider species after Indian tribes and the third, A. bonoi, after Bono. The album name no doubt played a role, and I'm guessing Bono's seemingly cursed  Broadway musical, Spiderman, did as well. The clever biologist has a history of naming spiders after celebrities, having honored Angelina Jolie, Cesar Chavez and Stephen Colbert in the past.

Hey, Jason Bond, I'm shooting for a rose, but I'd be happy with a spider.

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