Centipede named Taylor Swift is the latest creep crawler to honor a star

Taylor Swift could have talked about this hopping insect when she wrote: “Shake off.

A centipede commonly found in the Appalachian Mountains was recently renamed after her in homage to the pop star.

The so-called Nannaria swiftae is one of 17 new millipede species discovered in the region and is critical to the breakdown and dispersal of nutrients in forested ecosystems.

“Her music helped me get through the ups and downs of grad school, so naming a new centipede species after her is my way of saying thank you,” said Virginia Tech entomologist Derek Hennen in an opinion.

The Post has reached out to Swift’s publicist for comment.

They tend to hide just below the surface of the ground where they can eat decaying leaves and plant matter undisturbed.

Their clandestine existence is one of the reasons they have been so difficult to analyze, researchers said. A multi-year project to collect and record unidentified specimens was launched in 17 states across the eastern United States, with Hennen and his colleagues Jackson Means and Paul Mare groping the forest floor to look under rocks, leaves and logs for hidden centipedes.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift was immortalized as Nannaria swiftae.
Getty Images

They found more than 1,800 animals, including some already found in university and museum collections, with 17 new species detailed in their report published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

The new Nannaria millipedes are 18 and 38 millimeters long with a brown to black trunk with white, red, or orange spots and white legs. Male Nannaria millipedes are characterized by “twisted” claws on the ends of their front legs.

Twisted-claw millipede illustration
Nannaria millipedes are also known as “twisted claw” millipedes, identified by the hooks on the ends of their front legs.
dr Derek A. Hennen, et al

The “You Need to Calm Down” singer joins a long list of celebrities already immortalized in binomial nomenclature, including:

  • That Uvariopsis dicaprio Tree from Cameroon’s Ebo Forest, valued for its biodiversity and named after A-list actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • Though not a real person, “Star Wars” hero Luke Skywalker was the inspiration for China’s newly named Skywalker hoolock gibbon – which, like the Jedi, is also considered an endangered species.
  • Folsom Prison Blues jammer Johnny Cash was a convenient choice for an arachnologist and fan who called a tarantula Aphonopelma johnnycashi after catching one near Folsom State Prison near arid Sacramento County, California.
  • A temperature sensitive snail called himself Craspedotropis gretathunbergaafter climate activist Greta Thunberg, who also can’t stand global warming.
  • Fans of The Rain Song rockers Led Zeppelin resulted in the name Pristimantis ledzeppelin for a rare rain frog found in the Andes near the Peru-Ecuador border.
  • The fossil of a prehistoric “vampire” squid called himself Syllipsimopodi bideni for President Joe Bien, which according to the author was a tribute to the oldest person to assume the US presidency.
  • There is supposedly at least 10 Recently Identified Species named after of former President Barack Obama, including a couple of fish, two spiders, two parasites, a bird, an extinct lizard and a symbiotic lichen – the first organism to be named after the 44th President.
  • In 2020, the Children’s Museum in West Harford, Connecticut, a Madagascar hissing cockroach “Keith” to commemorate Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards’ 77th birthday that year.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/18/taylor-swift-named-millipede-is-latest-creepy-crawler-to-honor-a-star/ Centipede named Taylor Swift is the latest creep crawler to honor a star

Dais Johnston

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