Changing Planet

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+.

Carrie is a freelance science writer living in Virginia. When she's not writing about cool critters, she's spending time outside, drinking coffee, or knitting. You can visit her website at
  • Mark Pommier

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

  • balla

    Keman Spider

  • Miranda

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

  • Nick Delhanidis


  • christopher Napoles

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

  • Lorretta Rollinson

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

  • doctordisney

    Barricade Spider

  • Pamela Becker

    iknowican = attitude for precision beyond our grasp.

  • Erik j

    Amber Glass Spider

  • Kit Prendergast

    Epiphany Spider

  • Priya Raghavan

    Fencer Spider

  • Kimberly

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

  • Keith Lo Bue

    Roulette Spider.


    “Carousel” for sure

  • Paul Griffith

    umbrella spider

  • Lindsay

    Frost Spider

    Fences make good neighbors, after all.

  • Teresa Tian

    Jelly fish spider.

  • suzie

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

  • Sleek_Bones

    Picket spider.

  • wickedwithwords

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

  • Tony

    Carousel spider

  • Anette

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

  • nick

    Castle spider

  • Lee Murphy

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

  • Rory

    The Goomy Spider. (Get Out Of My Yard)

    Or the picket spider.

    Or the Spire Spider.

  • Pnicholson

    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.

  • aaron s.

    Homestead spider

  • Helen Berners

    The Hengemason Spider

  • Neko Marukan

    Stonehenge Spider !!!

  • Neko Marukan

    Silk Stonehenge Spider !!!


    “Amber Spider” because of it’s color.

  • Alan

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

  • Justin Coffey

    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

  • Parker Reich

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

  • Jennifer Campbell

    Colosseum Spider

  • faizan muneer

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

  • faizan muneer

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

  • Mohamed amin

    Little Honey…

  • Joanna

    Amber Fencer

  • Alessio Bigatton

    Itaca spider

  • Luke

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

  • Lisa-Gaye Williams

    The Amber Territorial Spider

  • Theo

    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.

  • Kory

    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.


    Bahçe çivisi

  • Ali Huseynzade

    How abot anguana?

  • ry

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

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