Nannaria swiftae

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Swift twisted-claw millipede
Male N. swiftae
Male N. swiftae from Van Buren County, Tennessee.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Myriapoda
Class: Diplopoda
Order: Polydesmida
Family: Xystodesmidae
Genus: Nannaria
N. swiftae
Binomial name
Nannaria swiftae
Hennen, Means & Marek, 2022

Nannaria swiftae, also known as the Swift twisted-claw millipede[1] or Taylor Swift's millipede,[2] is a species of millipede in the family Xystodesmidae. It is found only in the Appalachian mountains of the U.S. state of Tennessee. It was discovered and described in 2022 by entomologists Derek Hennen, Jackson Means and Paul Marek, who expanded the genus Nannaria to 78 species. They named the species in honor of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.


As part of a multi-year project to collect new specimens of the millipedes throughout the Eastern United States, scientists including Derek Hennen of Virginia Tech traveled to 17 states, to find the species, sequence their DNA, and scientifically describe them. Over 1,800 specimens were collected and assessed during their field study spanning five years. In the end, the team described 17 new species, one of which is N. swiftae.[3]

Nannaria swiftae is a flat-backed millipede that has tergites with two paranotal orange spots, collum outlined in orange, and tergites with background chestnut brown.[4]


The naming of an animal species is required to comply with the guidelines established by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which allow names that honor people, including celebrities. N. swiftae was named after American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift "in recognition of her talent as a songwriter and performer and in appreciation of the enjoyment her music has brought DAH."[4] Hennen, the lead author of the scientist team that discovered the species, said Swift's music "helped [him] get through the highs and lows of graduate school, so naming a new millipede species after her is [his] way of saying thanks."[1] Of the 16 new species described by Hennen, he picked N. swiftae to be named after Swift as the species is endemic to Swift's home state, Tennessee.[5] The millipede received extensive mainstream media coverage due to its name.[6][7][8]


Nannaria swiftae is currently found only in Tennessee, a state in the United States, especially in the Appalachian counties of Cumberland, Monroe, and Van Buren.[4]


The species has been collected from mesic forests with hemlock, maple, oak, tuliptree, witch hazel, and pine trees, at elevations ranging from 481 metres to 1539 metres.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Swiftie Scientist Names New Millipede Species After Taylor Swift". Rolling Stone. 2022-04-18. Retrieved 2022-04-20.
  2. ^ "On the troubles of naming species". The Economist. 21 September 2022. Archived from the original on 25 September 2022. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  3. ^ Sankaran, Vishwam (2022-04-19). "Seventeen new millipede species discovered, one named after Taylor Swift". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-04-20. Retrieved 2022-04-20.
  4. ^ a b c d Hennen, Derek A.; Means, Jackson C. & Marek, Paul E. (15 April 2022). "A revision of the wilsoni species group in the millipede genus Nannaria Chamberlin, 1918 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Xystodesmidae)". ZooKeys (1096): 17–118. doi:10.3897/zookeys.1096.73485. PMC 9033750. PMID 35837667. Archived from the original on 20 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  5. ^ Sahai, Fred (2022-04-18). "Taylor Swift Has a Millipede Species to Call Her Own Thanks to Superfan Scientist". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-04-20.
  6. ^ Larkin, Alexandra (2022-04-22). "Newly-discovered millipede is named after Taylor Swift - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved 2023-07-17.
  7. ^ Kooser, Amanda (April 18, 2022). "Taylor Swift Just Got a Twisted-Claw Millipede Named After Her". CNET. Retrieved 2023-07-17.
  8. ^ Marples, Megan (2022-04-20). "Taylor Swift inspired an entomologist to name a new millipede species after the megastar". CNN. Retrieved 2023-07-17.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hoffman, Richard L. (1999). Checklist of the millipeds of North and Middle America. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publications. Vol. 8. ISBN 9781884549120.