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Your Best Names for the Mystery Picket-Fence Spider

We asked for your suggestions to name the newly discovered spider that made the picket fence in the Peruvian Amazon, and readers didn’t disappoint.

Last fall, scientists at the Tambopata Research Center found a mysterious structure that looked like a circular picket fence. Despite searching, they couldn’t figure out what type of organism built such a structure.

mystery picket fence picture
The odd weblike structure was recently explained. Photograph by Jeff Cremer, Solent News/Rex Features via AP

Last week, we revealed that the enigmatic creature who built the picket fence was actually a spider. The center tower held a single egg, and scientists still aren’t sure whether the outer spokes protect the egg from predators, trap prey for when spiderlings hatch, or both.

The spider is believed to be new to science and thus nameless, given a lack of description in the research literature. Readers chimed in to share their thoughts on monikers for this mysterious spider that appears to be a bit of an architectural genius. (See National Geographic’s spider videos.)

A spiderling seen in December 2013 near the mysterious picket fence. Photograph by Jeff Cremer, Solent News/Rex Features via AP
A spiderling seen in December 2013 near the mysterious picket fence. Photograph by Jeff Cremer, Solent News/Rex Features via AP

Many of you liked the name Silkhenge suggested by the researchers, after the picket fence’s similarity to Stonehenge in England. Here are a few more of my favorites:

  • Druid spider, after the Druids who supposedly built Stonehenge.
  • Doc Holliday spider, “for making it OK out of the corral.”
  • Tom Sawyer spider, “for the picket fence that Tom Sawyer tricked his friends into painting, like this spider tricks mites and ants into coming towards.”
  • American Dream spider, after the white picket fence that is part of the stereotypical American dream.
  • Suburbanite spider.
  • Archipider spider, “i.e., a species of spider which is a natural Architectural genius.”
  • Carousel spider.
  • Picket-fence spider.
  • Hengeling spider.
  • Lord of the Rings fans had several suggestions: Isengard spider, Minas Tirith spider, or Gondor Spider.

One of you also urged the scientists to ask locals if they had a name for the spider and use that as a basis for its formal scientific name. (See more of your name suggestions from 2013.)

I will keep you posted as to what name the researchers ultimately select if this “Silkhenge” spider is determined to be a new species!

Do you have a name for this spider you haven’t yet shared? There’s still time! Head over to the comments section and let us know what you think!

Follow Carrie Arnold on Twitter and Google+.


  1. ry
    South Africa
    February 14, 3:44 am

    ‘Goldilocks Spider’ (Lone defended Tower, Single occupant, Gold in colour)

  2. Ali Huseynzade
    July 11, 2014, 9:06 am

    How abot anguana?

    Ankara, Türkiye
    May 7, 2014, 2:37 pm

    Bahçe çivisi

  4. Kory
    January 21, 2014, 6:10 pm

    Sarlacc Spider after the giant sand monster in Star Wars. When looking down upon it from above the web looks kind of like a mouth.

  5. Theo
    January 21, 2014, 4:11 am

    it’s no contest. since the silk building is already called silkhenge, the spider already got its name on top of our head. it’s Druidspider.

  6. Lisa-Gaye Williams
    January 20, 2014, 2:45 pm

    The Amber Territorial Spider

  7. Luke
    United States
    January 20, 2014, 12:11 am

    Henge Spider. The web is reminiscent of the “Henge’s” found throughout the world.

  8. Alessio Bigatton
    January 19, 2014, 12:06 pm

    Itaca spider

  9. Joanna
    January 19, 2014, 9:49 am

    Amber Fencer

  10. Mohamed amin
    Tetouan, Morocco
    January 19, 2014, 6:00 am

    Little Honey…

  11. faizan muneer
    faisalabad pakistan
    January 17, 2014, 5:07 am

    It should be named as “white house spider”due to its white coloured spiky nest

  12. faizan muneer
    faisalabad pakistan
    January 17, 2014, 5:02 am

    Due to its colour it should be called ,”honey spider”

  13. Jennifer Campbell
    January 16, 2014, 8:24 pm

    Colosseum Spider

  14. Parker Reich
    January 16, 2014, 5:58 pm

    the fencer spider
    the hedge maker spider since the fence looks like a hedge

  15. Justin Coffey
    United States
    January 16, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Ruga-Rue Spider
    Orange King Spider
    Crystal Skull Spider (from Indiana Jones)
    Caramel Spider
    Honey Spider
    Maple Syrup Spider
    Sugar Candy Spider
    Gizmo Spider
    Carmel Spider
    Golden Pickett Spider
    Silky Spider
    Great Barrier Spider
    Silk Hanger Spider
    Bubble Spider
    Gem Spider
    Translucent Caramel Spider
    Golden Silk Spider

  16. Alan
    British Isles
    January 16, 2014, 2:54 pm

    Dream Maker Spider – Dune Spider from Mars (Because of it’s structures that have a similarity to the dunes on Mars)

    January 16, 2014, 6:58 am

    “Amber Spider” because of it’s color.

  18. Neko Marukan
    January 16, 2014, 5:13 am

    Silk Stonehenge Spider !!!

  19. Neko Marukan
    January 16, 2014, 5:10 am

    Stonehenge Spider !!!

  20. Helen Berners
    January 16, 2014, 4:41 am

    The Hengemason Spider

  21. aaron s.
    January 16, 2014, 4:02 am

    Homestead spider

  22. Pnicholson
    Salem mass
    January 15, 2014, 9:41 pm

    Liked carousel , but thought it reminded me of that ride at an amusement park called “The Roundup” and it fits cause the spider uses it to capture prey.

  23. Rory
    Huntington Woods, MI, USA
    January 15, 2014, 9:26 pm

    The Goomy Spider. (Get Out Of My Yard)

    Or the picket spider.

    Or the Spire Spider.

  24. Lee Murphy
    January 15, 2014, 7:09 pm

    Not for the design of the web but the color of the spider .jacinth .

  25. nick
    January 15, 2014, 6:02 pm

    Castle spider

  26. Anette
    Bergen, Norway
    January 15, 2014, 5:46 pm

    I think it looks like a hamster wheel, so I suggest Hamster Wheel Spider!

  27. Tony
    January 15, 2014, 5:40 pm

    Carousel spider

  28. wickedwithwords
    January 15, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Montsec Monument Spider. The structure reminds me of this famous monument.

  29. Sleek_Bones
    January 15, 2014, 5:22 pm

    Picket spider.

  30. suzie
    January 15, 2014, 5:20 pm

    AMBER VELVET- amber for the spiders colour and picket fences were an iconic image in the film blue velvet.

  31. Teresa Tian
    United States
    January 15, 2014, 5:17 pm

    Jelly fish spider.

  32. Lindsay
    New York
    January 15, 2014, 5:06 pm

    Frost Spider

    Fences make good neighbors, after all.

  33. Paul Griffith
    London, England.
    January 15, 2014, 5:06 pm

    umbrella spider

    January 15, 2014, 5:03 pm

    “Carousel” for sure

  35. Keith Lo Bue
    January 15, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Roulette Spider.

  36. Kimberly
    United States
    January 15, 2014, 9:17 am

    I like the name “Tom Sawyer Spider,” it really fits it.

  37. Priya Raghavan
    January 15, 2014, 5:17 am

    Fencer Spider

  38. Kit Prendergast
    January 15, 2014, 2:44 am

    Epiphany Spider

  39. Erik j
    Layton utah
    January 14, 2014, 11:57 pm

    Amber Glass Spider

  40. Pamela Becker
    Doylestown, PA (USA)
    January 14, 2014, 10:08 pm

    iknowican = attitude for precision beyond our grasp.

  41. doctordisney
    United States
    January 14, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Barricade Spider

  42. Lorretta Rollinson
    January 14, 2014, 7:41 pm

    Da Vinci Spider,
    brilliant architect , supporting the inner creative ability with compositions we never expected and recognises a truly great man

  43. christopher Napoles
    united states
    January 14, 2014, 6:00 pm

    I agree with Mark pommier it should be ”stockade Spider”

  44. Nick Delhanidis
    January 14, 2014, 5:14 pm


  45. Miranda
    January 14, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Looks like the spider is made out of honey, so Honey Spider.

  46. balla
    January 14, 2014, 4:36 pm

    Keman Spider

  47. Mark Pommier
    United States
    January 14, 2014, 3:08 pm

    The most famous picket fence, or “stockade” fence is the one in Dallas in Dealey Plaza. How about “Stockade Spider”?