Scientists name spider after Sir David Attenborough

A goblin spider has become the sixth species to be named after the veteran of natural history broadcasting

A tiny Australian goblin spider has been named after wildlife expert and national treasure Sir David Attenborough. The creepy crawly is the sixth species to be named after the 86-year-old broadcaster.


Attenborough’s newest namesake will join a rat-eating plant, an Ecuadorian flowering tree and an extinct species of armoured fish, among others.

The newly-named tiny arachnid is a little over a millimetre long, and has been found on Horn Island off northern Queensland, Australia. Its official name is Prethopalpus attenboroughi but it will commonly be known as Attenborough’s goblin spider.

At his acceptance speech in Perth, Sir David said: “I take it that it is careful in its judgement, merciless, certainly beautiful and I will treasure it. I thank you very much indeed for this.”

“Naming a species is the biggest of compliments that you could ask from any scientific community and I truly thank you very much indeed for this one.”

The knighted TV presenter has travelled to the furthest corners of the globe, bringing wildlife and nature into Britian’s living rooms for six decades.


He first stepped onto our screens in 1954 and has since presented a number of celebrated documentaries including Life on Earth, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet for the BBC.  He most recently fronted Kingdom of Plants  on Sky Atlantic.