A New Species Of Millipede Has Been Named After Taylor Swift

27 April 2022 | 10:12 am | Staff Writer

Scientists have honoured Taylor Swift by naming a new species of millipede after the legendary artist.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift (Image: Supplied)

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A team of Virginia Tech scientists have chosen to name one of the 17 new species of millipede found in the Appalachian mountains of the United States after Taylor Swift.

The Swift-inspired millipede species is called the Nannaria swiftae, and is described as a "twisted-claw millipede".

Lead author of the study, Derek Hennen, said it's a way for him to thank Swift for her music.

He said, "Her music helped me get through the highs and lows of graduate school, so naming a new millipede species after her is my way of saying thanks."

On Twitter, he added, "This new millipede species is Nannaria swiftae: I named it after [Taylor Swift]! I'm a big fan of her music, so I wanted to show my appreciation by naming this new species from Tennessee after her. A high honour!"

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Millipedes are little-known invertebrates that have a valuable role as decomposers. Breaking down leaf litter, they release their nutrients into the ecosystem. They live on the forest floor, where they feed on decaying leaves and other plant matter. They are somewhat tricky to catch, because they tend to remain buried in the soil, sometimes staying completely beneath the surface.

The newly described millipedes range between 18 and 38 mm long, have shiny caramel-brown to black bodies with white, red, or orange spots, and have white legs. The males have small, twisted and flattened claws on their anterior legs, which is the basis for their common name.

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Keep up to date with Taylor Swift via her Facebook page here.