A competition held at the World Science Festival in Brisbane last week has seen a new species of spider named after Aussie legend Mick Fanning.
Those entering the competition were required to find a name not only fitting to the new species but also had to draw inspiration from Queensland, World Water day and the World Science Festival. Hundreds entered the competition globally, but Hector Manuel Osorio Gonzalez Filho from Brazil was the winner with his entry mickfanninggi, named after famous Aussie surfer Mick Fanning.
Mick Fanning who shot to international fame after a punching a shark was delighted by the name:
It's pretty awesome to know that the spider is quite local to the Gold Coast and only a short drive from Snapper [Rocks break.
Image: Mickfanningi, Supplied: Queensland Museum
Mickfanningi is a unique new edition to the arachnid family. The spider has a distinctive set of patterns on its back and can be found vine thickets and rainforests near Canungra. Arachnologist Dr Robert Raven explains:
What makes this species even more special is that it has a very distinct colour pattern and quite different genitalia, which makes it quite easy to differentiate between others in the group
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, agreed the name was fitting given the surfer’s successful writing career.
Both Mick Fanning and the Queensland scientists who discovered this new species of spider are world leaders in their respective fields, so it's fitting to bring the two together in this way.
Whether or not the spider has socked a shark in the nose, remains to be seen.
Header: Look-alike Spider, supplied by Ben Revell