A jumping spider has been named after Eric Carle, the author of children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The arachnid was found by naturalist Stefan Obenaue in a Hong Kong park, who contacted Manchester Museum’s Dr Dmitri Logunov for help identifying it.
After the spider expert found it was previously unknown, the name uroballus carlei was given to it, because of similarities to Eric Carle’s character.
Carle’s book was first published in 1969 and has sold millions worldwide.
A spokesman for the museum said a Hong Kong lepidopterist had confirmed the area where the spider was found was home to a species of moth which has brown, bristly-haired caterpillars, which uroballus carlei had most likely evolved to imitate.
He said that unlike Carle’s caterpillar, it was not chocolate cake, cheese, salami or lollipops it eats but small insects such as flies and bugs.
He added that while there was also no chance of it turning into a butterfly, the male of the species does have brightly-coloured markings before staging an elaborate courting dance to attract the female.
Dr Logunov said jumping spiders “belong to the most diverse spider groups on Earth, accounting for more than 6,100 described species worldwide” and are “particularly notable for their complex courtship behaviour”.