An unusual spider was discovered in Iran by a group of scientists from the University of Turku (Finland) led by Alireza Zamani. It is distinguished by a red and white pattern on the back, very reminiscent of the makeup of the famous Hollywood movie villain Joker performed by Joaquin Phoenix. In honor of the actor, the new spider was named Loureedia phoenixi. Ironically, he belongs to the already famous genus Loureedia, which scientists named after the iconic punk rock musician Lou Reed, who often wore black makeup and rarely smiled.
This genus was first described by scientists in 2018 and currently has only four species. However, lovers of exotic insects should not flatter themselves too much: it is not so easy to see the eerie smile of the Joker due to the tiny size of Loureedia phoenixi - it is only 8 mm in length.
Another reason is their secretive lifestyle. Most of the time spiders spend underground, getting to the surface for only three weeks (from late October to mid-November) to reproduce.
The fact that scientists have so far only been able to detect males adds intrigue to the research. The search for females has not yet been crowned with success.