Spider to be named after Stephen Colbert


GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Stephen Colbert has a big decision to make: Which spider species should bear his name?

The Daily Reflector of Greenville reported Thursday that East Carolina University associate professor Jason Bond has agreed to name a species after Colbert, host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

Bond is a biologist who specializes in spiders and millipedes. He and students study both new and known species and provide names for the new ones.

Colbert developed spider envy after learning Bond had given the name of Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi -- for rocker Neil Young -- to a trapdoor spider. The 44-year-old comedian demanded that a spider be named after him.

"Where's my spider?" he said. "I have lots of animals named after me: turtles, eagles, Ontario Junior League hockey mascots. The world demands an eight-legged tribute to Stephen Colbert and I do not mean another barbershop quartet."

Colbert interviewed Bond by phone for his June 24 show.

"So tell me about my spider," Colbert said. "Does it shoot poison darts? Does it lay eggs in your ears?"

Bond told Colbert he could choose one of 27 trapdoor spiders, which lurk under the ground, waiting until they sense something walking by to grab it.

Now that Colbert is back from a two-week vacation, he must choose a species to carry the name "Aptostichus stephencolberti." Because Colbert doesn't pronounce the "t" in his last name, it will be silent in the spider's name as well.

"Because names are important, it is quite an honor. ... I wouldn't name a species after him if I didn't think it was appropriate," Bond said.