Aphonopelma johnnycashi

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Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Aphonopelma johnnycashi female.jpg
Aphonopelma johnnycashi male.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Theraphosidae
Genus: Aphonopelma
Species: A. johnnycashi
Binomial name
Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Hamilton, 2016[1]

Aphonopelma johnnycashi is a species of tarantula (family Theraphosidae).[2] It was found in 2015 near Folsom Prison in California, and named after Johnny Cash, whose song, "Folsom Prison Blues", made it famous. Mature males are generally black, and the country music singer was also known as "The Man in Black".[1]

Natural history[edit]

This spider can be up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, the males black and females dark brown. Like most North American tarantulas, they are relatively harmless to humans, unlikely to bite and with venom only mildly irritating.[3]

The new categorization of this spider is part of an effort to more carefully catalog American tarantula species. For decades there has been a suspicion that there are more species than identified, but that they are similar enough to be overlooked. The new effort has broken them down according to behavior and observable traits, though there has not been genetic testing done to truly ascertain where the species lines are drawn.[4]


  1. ^ a b Hamilton, C.A.; Hendrixson, B.E. & Bond, J.E. (2016), "Taxonomic revision of the tarantula genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae) within the United States", ZooKeys, 560: 1–340, doi:10.3897/zookeys.560.6264, PMC 4768370, PMID 27006611
  2. ^ World Spider Catalog (2017). "Aphonopelma johnnycashi Hamilton, 2016". World Spider Catalog, version 18.0. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  3. ^ Stuart Winter. "'Johnnycashi' tarantula: Scientists name newly-discovered arachnid after country crooner". Express.co.uk.
  4. ^ Michael Greshko. "New 'Johnny Cash' Tarantula Uproots Spider Family Tree". National Geographic News.