Spider named after The Very Hungry Caterpillar author Eric Carle

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Getty Images/Manchester Museum

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Spider experts think the jumping spider (right) looks a bit like the famous caterpillar

A jumping spider has been named after Eric Carle, the author of children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The arachnid was found by naturalist Stefan Obenauer in a Hong Kong park, who contacted Manchester Museum’s Dr Dmitri Logunov for help identifying it.

After the spider expert found it was previously unknown, the name Uroballus carlei was given to it, because of similarities to Eric Carle’s character.

Carle’s book was first published in 1969 and has sold millions worldwide.

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Manchester Museum

Image caption

The spider was discovered in a park in Hong Kong

A spokesman for the museum said a Hong Kong lepidopterist had confirmed the area where the spider was found was home to a species of moth which has brown, bristly-haired caterpillars, which Uroballus carlei had most likely evolved to imitate.

He added that unlike Carle’s caterpillar, it was not chocolate cake, cheese, salami or lollipops it eats but small insects such as flies and bugs.

Dr Logunov said jumping spiders “belong to the most diverse spider groups on Earth, accounting for more than 6,100 described species worldwide” and are “particularly notable for their complex courtship behaviour”.