A whole genus of spiders has been named after David Bowie, Bowie ziggystardust, B. majortom, B. letsdance and B. magicdance among them. They’ve been split off from a larger group of highly venomous spiders — Bowie was pretty potent after all. Over 100 species have been reclassified on what would have been his 75th birthday.
The Bowie spiders are part of a family known as the Ctenidae, or wandering spiders, which mostly live in the tropics. They get their name from their behaviour, forgoing a web in favour of prowling forests for prey such as insects, reptiles and frogs.
To aid their hunting, wandering spiders have developed powerful venoms. One genus of the Ctenidae, Phoneutria, produces a venom which poses a lethal threat to humans, with males being more toxic than females.
Little known fact: Bowie’s wonderful music was also a lethal threat to humans, or would have been, if not for his restraint.