Legendary country singer Johnny Cash has been given a unique honor – a new species of an almost all-black tarantula that lives near Folsom Prison, California, has been named after him.
Johnny Cash wrote a song about the prison, and also played a historic series of concerts for inmates there in the 1960s.
Aphonopelma johnnycashi is among 14 new tarantula species from the southern US which have been described by biologists in the journal ZooKeys.
Their study completely rewrites the family tree of the Aphonopelma genus.
One of dozens of tarantula genera, this group was previously considered to include more than 50 separate species.
As part of his PhD research at Auburn University in Alabama, Chris Hamilton carefully whittled that down to 29. He eliminated a lot of double-counting, but also defined 14 species that were entirely new to science.
“We really tried to clean the taxonomy up,” said Dr. Chris Hamilton, now a postdoctoral researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
“The only way we could do that was by looking at over 3,000 specimens, both from the wild and from natural history collections.
“A lot of previous names got eliminated. But there were 14 that were genuinely unique and new.”
Aphonopelma johnnycashi, however, was found roaming the wilds of California.
“It’s found along the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada mountains, and one of the places that’s there is Folsom Prison,” Dr. Chris Hamilton explained – and it wasn’t a giant imaginative leap from there to the species’ new moniker.
“It’s a perfect name. It fits the spider – it’s found around Folsom and the males are predominantly all black, so it fits his image.
“I have a Johnny Cash tattoo so I was very happy that it worked out that way.”
Dr. Chris Hamilton thinks that one reason the species had not been previously recognized is its similarity to other species of tarantula, such as Aphonopelma iodius which is common in the Mojave desert further south.
Adele’s stylist has spilled the secrets to her sartorial success, revealing hold-in underwear is the key to the star’s confidence.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Gaelle Paul said: “She always wears Spanx on the red carpet. Good underwear is really important, it smoothes you out.”
Adele, who welcomed son Angelo into the world in October 2012, certainly isn’t lacking in the confidence stakes, with Gaelle Paul explaining the Londoner doesn’t suffer from the same “insecurities” which plague other stars.
The Los Angeles-based fashionista added: “Adele is really OK with how she looks. I don’t think she ever lacked confidence. She doesn’t have that insecurity that a lot of other people I dress have.”
However, it doesn’t look as though Adele will be stepping away from her love of black anytime soon.
Adele’s stylist has spilled the secrets to her sartorial success, revealing hold-in underwear is the key to the star’s confidence
Gaelle Paul explained: “Adele always wants to wear black because she loves Johnny Cash and he wore black. She also loves June Carter Cash because she and Johnny were so much in love and they had this wonderful marriage.
“Sometimes she’ll look at herself in the mirror and say, <<Oh I look like her, Gaelle!>>.”
Adele, 25, has previously explained she refuses to be worn down by pressure to be thin, and would rather enjoy her life than worry too much about what she looks like.
The singer said: “I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger b**bs, and how it wears them down. And I don’t want that in my life.
“I have insecurities, of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.
“My life is full of drama and I won’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like. I don’t like going to the gym. I like eating fine foods and drinking nice wine.”