Not a joke.
Spintharus berniesandersi, named after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., lives in Cuba. It is small and lemon-yellow and barely a millimeter wide. On the spider’s back is an ornate pattern halfway between a distorted smiley face and grimace.
Four University of Vermont undergraduates, with the guidance of biologist Ingi Agnarsson, identified Spintharus berniesandersi. The students also found 14 other new spider species, which they named after political figures (Obama got his 10th species; Michelle Obama her first), artists (singer David Bowie’s second spider) and celebrities (naturalist David Attenborough, his umpteenth).
“We don’t mean this to be a political paper. We decided to honor the people who we think are doing the right thing,” Agnarsson, a spider expert at the University of Vermont, told The Washington Post.
Also, there’s this:
A few identifying traits arose as the (Caribbean) islands drifted apart. Some of the spiders had complete smiles on their backs, one with “a very distinct, clownlike smiley face with a white nose,” Agnarsson said. Also, their genital structure had evolved rapidly, probably another barrier against interbreeding. (Why spider genitals change so quickly is a matter of “long and deep scientific debate,” Agnarsson said, but could reflect an evolutionary arms race between male and female spiders.)
Bernie Sanders: Not president, but got a spider named after him. You win some, you lose some.