Africa-Press – Rwanda. Jeff Daniels himself reportedly quipped that in Hollywood “you haven’t really made it until you’ve been recognised by those in the field of parasitology.”
American actor Jeff Daniels’s name has recently been immortalised thanks to the efforts of scientists who named a parasitical worm – a nematode – after him.
According to EurekAlert, the researchers chose Daniels’ name because he starred in 1990 comedy horror film Arachnophobia, in which his character battles an infestation of deadly spiders.
The nematode, found by the team after a tarantula breeder asked them to help identify an infection plaguing some of his spiders in 2019, is reportedly one of the only two discovered species of these worms that prey on tarantulas.
The worm’s arachnid victims begin exhibiting unusual behavior upon infection, “walking around on tiptoe and not eating,” while the appendages around their mouths stop working.
The worms reside in the mouth area of their host, but it’s not yet known if they feed on the tarantula itself or on bacteria that live on these spiders. Meanwhile, Daniels himself did not seem upset by the news about a parasite being named after him.