Beyoncé may be one of the biggest pop divas out there, but she isn't the only diva with that name. A previously un-named species of horse fly with a glamorous…Read More »
golden rear end has been named Beyoncé because it is "all time diva of flies." Beyoncé was a member of the group Destiny’s Child, which recorded the 2001 hit single, Bootylicious. The fly got its booty-ful name from its extreme diva feature: a big gold butt. Less «
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Tiny Mick Jagger
Credit: Adrian Kin
Named after Mick Jagger, Aegrotocatellus Jaggeri is a species of trilobite in the order Phacopida, which existed in what is now Nunavut, Canada. The image…Read More »
above is of a different species of Trilobite. Less «
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A naming competition
Credit: Arizona State University
Late-night political satirist Stephen Colbert has not just one but two bugs named for him. As a birthday gift in 2009, Arizona state University researchers…Read More »
named a species of diving beetle Agaporomorphus Colberti, to honor Colbert. In 2007, a trapdoor spider discovered on the California coastline called Aptostichus stephencolberti. A. stepehncolberti is also closely related to A. angelinjolieae, named after the actress Angelina Jolie. Less «
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Beetles for everyone
Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Soebe
Also in the famous beetle category: Agra katewinsletae is a species of carabid beetle named after English actress of "Titanic" fame Kate Winslet. The researchers…Read More »
note that in the movie, Winslet's character "did not go down with the ship, but we will not be able to say the same for this elegant canopy species, if all the rain forest is converted to pastures."
In the same paper, he also named one species of beetle after Arnold Schwarzenegger, because of its "markedly developed (biceps-like) middle femora of the males of this species reminiscent of the actor's physique." It was collected in Costa Rica.
The beetle shown is a different species of carabid, or ground, beetle.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Urs Thalmann at Zurich University
The Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei), also known as Cleese's woolly lemur, is a species of woolly lemur native to western Madagascar, named after…Read More »
John Cleese, of "Monty Python" fame. Cleese played a lemur-happy zookeeper in the film "Fierce Creatures" and hosted a documentary on lemurs, and is concerned with wildlife conservation. Less «
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Beetles for Beatles
Credit: Matthew Buffington
Many bands and musicians have organisms named after them, including the Ramones and the Beatles. Elvis has a species of wasp named Preseucoila imallshookupis…Read More »
named for Presley and his hit song "All Shook Up" by entomologist Matthew Buffington of the USDA. Less «
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Credit: American Museum Noviates, June 10, 1993, Norman Platnick
In honor of his conservation work, Harrison ford has had two species of insect named after him. A spider discovered in 1993 by Norman Platnick of the American…Read More »
Museum of Natural History, was named Calponia harrisonfordi. Ford also has a species of ant named after him, Pheidole harrisonfordi, found in Honduras and Belize, and discovered by Harvard University researcher E.O Wilson. Less «
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Zanzibar's most famous
Cirolana mercuryi is a species of isopod found on coral reefs off Bawe Island, (Zanzibar, Tanzania) in East Africa and named for Freddie Mercury, "arguably…Read More »
Zanzibar's most famous popular musician and singer". Less «
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Sting, sans stinger
Credit: M. Kaplan, Journal of Herpetology, Mar. 1994.
Identified and named by Moises Kaplan, of the University of Michigan, this species of Colombian tree frog was named, Hyla stingi, after the singer Sting…Read More »
In the most-species-named-after-him category, Frank Zappa comes in first. He has an orb-web spider, a jellyfish, a mudfish and a long-extinct shellfish.…Read More »
One researcher, when Ed Murdy (now at the National Science Foundation's Office of International Science & Engineering) was asked why he named the mudfish genus Zappa, replied "This particular fish is clearly different from any other known to science, which is why the designation of a new genus was necessary. As to why I chose the name Zappa, there are three reasons: 1. I like his music 2. I liked his politics and principles 3. The name itself is a good one for scientific nomenclature." Less «
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Credit: Wikimedia commons user Tomfriedel
What better species to name after Hugh Heffner than a bunch of bunnies? Sylvilagus palustris hefneri is a type of marsh rabbit named after the magazine…Read More »
mogul in 1984. Its common name is the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit, and was named after Hefner by James Lazell, of the Conservation Agency in Rhode Island, who had financial support from the Playboy Corporation Less «
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Neil Young's spider
Credit: ECU News Services.
A sneaky spider has been named in honor of rock musician Neil Young. Jason Bond, a biologist at East Carolina University, named a newly discovered arachnid,…Read More »
Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. It is also known as a trapdoor spider. Bond said of the naming: "With regards to Neil Young, I really enjoy his music and have had a great appreciation of him as an activist for peace and justice." Less «
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Credit: Charles J. Kazilek, Arizona State University
A new species of beetle that appears as if wearing a tuxedo has been named in honor of the late rock 'n' roll legend Roy Orbison and his widow Barbara.…Read More »
Entomologist Quentin Wheeler of Arizona State University announced the discovery and naming of the beetle, now dubbed Orectochilus orbisonorum, during a Roy Orbison Tribute Concert on Jan. 25. Less «
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Credit: Matt Buffington
Pycnostigmus mastersonae: named after Jill Masterson, who died of skin suffocation in the James Bond movie 'Goldfinger'; the name refers to the metallic sheen on this species (very unusual).
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Credit: Matt Buffington
Ganaspidium flemingi: named after Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels
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Credit: Matt Buffington
Anacharoides nicknacki; named after Francisco Scaramanga's henchman Nick-nack in the James Bond movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun'; the name refers to the diminutive size of this species.
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Jennifer Welsh graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz's Science Communication graduate program after working at a start up biotech company for three years after getting her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame. She has worked at WiredScience, The Scientist and Discover Magazine before joining the Live Science team.