Actor Jeff Daniels now has a spider-killing worm named after him


The name was designated to Jeff Daniels because of his role in the 1990 hit movie 'Arachnophobia'. Photo: TNS

He's an Emmy-winning actor. A movie star. A singer/songwriter.

Now, Jeff Daniels is the inspiration for the name of a tarantula-killing worm.

Taranarantobelus jeffdanielsi is the name of a newly found nematode, a species of worm, that infects the scary spiders, according to the University of California Riverside.

Found by a team from UC Riverside, the worm was designated so because of Daniels' role in the 1990 hit movie Arachnophobia. In it, he's the hero battling a lethal spider attack.

Daniels' response to the university's decision was, as typical, good-natured.

"When I first heard a new species of nematode had been named after me, I thought, 'Why? Is there a resemblance?'" Daniels said.

"Honestly, I was honoured by their homage to me and Arachnophobia. Made me smile. And of course, in Hollywood, you haven't really made it until you've been recognised by those in the field of parasitology."

For those keeping score at home, Arachnophobia earned more than US$53mil worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, and has a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. – Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service

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