Star Wars: New Spider Genus Named After Stormtroopers

As Rebels mow them down by the dozens in Star Wars movies it can sometimes be easy to envision the Empire's storm troopers as gnats being swatted away. Entomologists, apparently, have another idea and have instead named a newly-discovered genus of spiders after the white-armored space fascists. You can get a look at the arachnids, who were discovered in Colombia, over at LiveScience. The spiders are not, as you might expect, black and white. Instead, they were named for the Storm troopers -- "Stormtropis" -- because they are so alike in their size and markings, according to the article. The Stormtropis is part of the bald-legged spiders family, which are native to South America and Central America.

A genus is defined as a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. As such, there are a variety of different species of Stormtropis, which are surprisingly common given that they were previously not catalogued. There are four species named in a new study (along with two other species that belong to existing genera). You can tell the Stormtropis apart from the others because, per the report, "Male Stormtropis spiders have just two claws on their feet, while other bald-legged spiders have three claws. Stormtropis males also lack the group's signature leg spines and have genitals that are more elongated. Female Stormtropis spiders' genitals have a tubular 'neck' and an overall mushroom shape, which also differs from the typical shape found in bald-legged spiders."

The other kind of Stormtroopers will make their next appearance this winter in Star Wars Episode IX, although little is known about the film so far. With Star Wars Celebration kicking off later this week, we'll likely get some of our first answers about the finale to the Skywalker Saga before the film hits theaters on December 20th.

Star Wars: Episode IX premieres in theaters in December 2019.

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