Harrison Ford honored by snake species named after him in Peru's Andes Mountains

Harrison Ford honored by snake species named after him in Peru’s Andes Mountains

Harrison Ford’s character Indiana Jones was known for hating snakes, often providing a laugh line in the action movies, but the actor says he doesn’t mind them. In reality, a new species of snake discovered in Peru’s Otishi National Park in the Andes Mountains was named for Mr. Ford to honor his charitable work, the scientists that found the serpent said.

The May 2022 discovery and naming of the snake were disclosed in a study published Tuesday in Salamandra, a German journal of herpetology, the study of snakes. The study’s authors included Peruvian scholars as well as two Americans with Illinois Wesleyan University and Florida International University.

The dark brown-and-tan-colored snake, named Tachymenoides harrisonfordi, reaches up to 16 inches long, subsists on lizards and frogs, and is considered harmless to human beings. The species’ non-scientific name is, keeping with the theme, Harrison Ford’s snake.

Although the nomenclature brings to mind Mr. Ford’s famous lament of “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” while playing Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the scientists said in their study that Mr. Ford was honored due to his charitable work for nonprofit Conservation International.

“We dedicate this species to Harrison Ford, actor and conservationist, in recognition of his work for Conservation International and his voice for nature,” the study’s etymology section reads.

While Indiana Jones may have had an aversion to serpents, Mr. Ford said he does not mind them.

“The snake’s got eyes you can drown in, and he spends most of the day sunning himself by a pool of dirty water — we probably would’ve been friends in the early ‘60s. In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling. It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world — and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere,” Mr. Ford said in a statement published by Conservation International Tuesday.

The new Peruvian snake is not the first new species named for Mr. Ford — in 1993, a California spider received the actor’s name, while in 2003, it was an ant species named for the movie star.