New Spider from Laos Named after Actor Dominic Monaghan

Dr Peter Jäger, a spider expert with the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, has described a new species of tropical wolf spider in the spider genus Ctenus.

Ctenus monaghani, frontal view (© Peter Jäger / Senckenberg).

Ctenus monaghani, frontal view (© Peter Jäger / Senckenberg).

The only specimen of the new species, Ctenus monaghani, was caught in May 2012 in a cave in the Khammouan Province, Laos.

The specific name monaghani honors the actor Dominic Monaghan who filmed together with Dr Jäger in Laos for the BBC America’s documentary series ‘Wild Things.’

“Dom’s enthusiasm for nature in general, and spiders and other little respected animals in particular, was the driving force behind the production of this documentary,” Dr Jäger wrote in a paper describing the new spider in the journal Zootaxa.

Dominic Monaghan and Dr Peter Jäger in Laos (© Cream Productions, Inc).

Dominic Monaghan and Dr Peter Jäger in Laos (© Cream Productions, Inc).

“He places nature in the foreground in a very special manner,” Dr Jäger said when explaining the dedication of the new species.

The new species belongs to the so-called wandering spiders. These creatures roam along the jungle floor at night and catch their prey without a web.

The smallest species is less than 10 mm in body length, while particularly large species can reach more than 30 mm.

Ctenus monaghani, lateral view (© Peter Jäger / Senckenberg).

Ctenus monaghani, lateral view (© Peter Jäger / Senckenberg).

The new species is a medium-sized Ctenus spider, about 10 mm long.

______

Bibliographic information: Jager P. 2013. Ctenus monaghani spec. nov., a nocturnal hunter from the forest floor in Laos (Araneae: Ctenidae). Zootaxa 3670 (1): 091–093; doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3670.1