Are you arachnophobic, but love Star Wars? Well, the recent discovery of a new genus of spiders might be just the thing to help you curb that fear.
In Star Wars, the stormtroopers are easily identified by their white suits and the fact that they all appear to be identical or clone-like. They are so identical that, as Princess Leia pointed out in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, stormtroopers are even considered to be a uniform size.
“Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?” Leia asks Luke Skywalker when she first meets him, disguised as a stormtrooper.
And it was this uniformity that has resulted in the discovery of a new spider has been given the name Stormtropis, according to Live Science.
The spiders belong to a group of arachnids also known as bald-legged spiders, and are native to South America and Central America. The researchers who named the spiders describe them as being “very similar to each other, with some capacity for camouflage.” In addition, it is believed these spiders are clumsy, another trait shared with stormtroopers. Although, as yet, there has been no data to suggest they are as clumsy with their blasters as their Star Wars counterparts.
According to Popular Science, spider biologists Carlos Perafan, Fernando Perez-Miles, and William Galvis discovered six new species of the bald-legged spider. However, of these, four did not appear to have their own genus yet. So, the researchers set about naming them, hence the genus Stormtropis was born.
This new genus belongs in the same intra-order, Mygalomorphae, which includes more commonly known spiders, such as tarantulas and trapdoor spiders. The stormtrooper spiders also share the “camouflaging phenomenon known as crypsis” with tarantulas and trapdoor spiders. This means that they hide in the dirt as a form of camouflage.
In addition to their links to stormtroopers, it has been identified that the male Stormtropis spiders contain two claws on their feet. Normally, other bald-legged spiders have three claws on their feet. Either way, for those who are arachnophobic, this is a terrifying concept.
It has also been discovered that “Stormtropis males also lack the group’s signature leg spines and have genitals that are more elongated.”
As for the females, their genitals are considered different from other spiders in the group. Their genitals are described as having a tubular “neck,” as well as a mushroom shape.
The researchers’ findings were published Thursday in the journal, ZooKeys,