They say that life imitates art, and that certainly appears to be the case for Loureedia phoenixi, a newly-named species of spider that bears a striking resemblance to a well-known comic book villain. The “Joker Spider,” as it has been nicknamed, was recently discovered in the country of Iran by researchers who published their work in the journal Arthropoda Selecta.
Now, normally when new animal species are given names referencing some kind of pop culture phenomenon, the resemblance is loose at best. This time, however, you really have to hand it to the scientists (and, I suppose the spider itself) for nailing the aesthetics you’d expect from a Joker spider. I mean, just look at that thing.
According to the researchers, a pair of male spiders of this new species were discovered. That might seem like a small sample size, but you really only need a couple of examples of a creature in order to determine if it’s part of an existing species or something entirely new. In this case, the spider’s appearance made it relatively easy to compare against known spider species and declare it to be truly unique.
The pair of spiders that were recovered were compared to photographic evidence collected from around the region of other spider sightings, allowing the scientists to get a better idea of how far the species has branched out before being formally identified.