Both New Musical Express Online (NME) and heavy metal-oriented magazine Kerrang obviously had fun reporting that “Brazilian scientist Christina Rheims at Sao Paolo biological research center Instituto Butantan has discovered four new species of spider of the new genus ‘Extraordinarius’, and has given them Latin names referencing four of her favorite metal musicians.”
“This is the kind of music I like and I usually listen to,” confirms Rheims. The newly discovered spider species belong to the Sparianthinae family of spiders, which is to be found in the Neotropical region from southern Mexico to Argentina.
As is the standard procedure in the scientific world the spiders were given names in Latin – Extraordinarius bruceickinsoni, Extraordinarius klausmeinei, Extraordinarius rickalleni and Extraordinarius andrematosi. While the heavy metal fans will immediately recognize who Rheims is referencing, those with more sensitive ears searching the Internet will discover that she is talking about Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Klaus Meine of Scorpions, and André Matos of Angra. The last name is probably lesser known outside of Rheims’ native Brazil mainly to hardcore metal fans.
Rheims also added that she chose the musicians if she thought they fit the Extraordinarius category: “I’ve always wanted to honor Rick Allen because I think he’s an example. You have a drummer that loses an arm, and he continues his career and he learns how to play with only one arm. So he’s one of the Extraordinarius as well.”
So far, the musicians themselves liked the idea – “I am honored! Thank you, Cristina Rheims! You rock!” On the other hand, Scorpions’ Klaus Meine contacted Christina and asked for a certificate from her, which she signed and sent on.
As NME points out, the new spider species are between one and two centimeters long, nocturnal and pose no danger to humans.