A Moment of Science

Spiders, Worms and ‘Dracula’ Fish!

OH MY! The top 10 new species list for 2009 is filled with spooky and bizarre creatures!

  • dracula fish

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    Dracula Fish. (Danionella dracula).

  • frog_fish

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    Psychedelic Frogfish. (Histiophryne psychedelica).

  • golden_orb_spider

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    Photo: Dan Beck

    Golden Orb Spider. (Nephila komaci).

  • Green Bombers

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    Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

    Green Bomber. (Swima bombiviridis).

An international committee of taxonomists compiled a list of the most surprising and peculiar new species discovered in 2009.

Spookiest Species List

  1. Dracula Fish: This little minnow has one major thing in common with the Count… and that’s its pointy pearly whites! These canine-like fangs are used for fighting other males for territory.
  2. Psychedelic Frogfish: Perfectly suited for Halloween, this creature gets its name from the orange-and-white swirled pattern of its skin and its bizarre teal-colored eyes.
  3. Golden Orb Spider: This tiny crawler spins one of the largest webs around (nearly 1 meter across)!
  4. Killer Sponge: Sponges can be a little more menacing when they are carnivorous and stalk the deep seas!
  5. Insect-Eating Slug: Hey, at least we didn’t say human-eating slug. These creepy black blobs must look pretty scary to a bug.
  6. Bombardier Worm: These underwater worms shoot off glow-in-the-dark bubble bombs to scare off predators!
  7. Pincher Plant: This carnivorous plant is the size of a football! It’s also on the endangered species list.
  8. Electric Fish: Its common name, the banded knifefish, is almost as good for Halloween.
  9. Odd Yam: This “udderly weird” yam has multiple lobes that hang down to look like an udder!
  10. Phallic Mushroom: The creepiest thing about this species has got to be the stink! These shrooms reak of a foul, rotten meat odor.

I hope you don’t run into any of these guys when you’re out for trick-or-treat… They are pretty cool to read about though!

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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