The new species were discovered by Brazilian biologist Cristina Rheims, a researcher at Sao Paulo’a biological research center Instituto Butantan.
Specialising in spider taxonomy and classifying spider specimens collected in the field or held at research institutions or museums, Rheims is also a heavy metal fan. “This is the kind of music I like and I usually listen to,” she said (via Public Radio International).
Naming spiders species is ruled by an international code of nomenclature, but part of the name is left to researchers’ creativity.
The new species Rheims found belong to the Sparianthinae family of spiders, which occurs in the Neotropical region from southern Mexico to Argentina. She named them Extraordinarius bruceickinsoni, Extraordinarius klausmeinei, Extraordinarius rickalleni and Extraordinarius andrematosi after Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Scorpions’ Klaus Meine and Angra’s André Matos.
“I’ve always wanted to honour Rick Allen because I think he’s an example,” Rheims said. “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.”
Responding to the news, Allen said: “I am honored! Thank you, Cristina Rheims! You rock!”
The new spider species are between one and two centimeters long, nocturnal and pose no danger to humans.
During a show in San Antonio Gers accidentally let go of his guitar while performing one of his signature windmill twirls.