Celebrity Taxa

How Newly Discovered Species Get Their Weird Names

How Newly Discovered Species Get Their Weird Names

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Species Discovery October 20, 2016 at 9:16 am

Whatever you do, don’t name your new species after yourself. That’s tacky.

Colorful dragonet gets a name, honouring Dr. Who

Colorful dragonet gets a name, honouring Dr. Who

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species October 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Disocvered in 2013, and popular among aquarists, this colorful =dragonet has finally been formally named and described.

Chicago area scientists name chanterelle in the city’s honor

Chicago area scientists name chanterelle in the city’s honor

Celebrity Taxa, Mushrooms & Fungi, New Species September 23, 2016 at 10:19 am

Chicago-area scientists have named a new species of mushroom in the city’s honor. And it might end up on your pizza.  The chanterelle was identified by researchers from the Field Museum and Chicago Botanic Garden with help from Northwestern University students.  The Chicago chanterelle is smaller than other chanterelle mushrooms and is practically odorless compared to the distinctive fruity smell emitted by other types. The Chicago chanterelle is smaller than other chanterelle mushrooms and is practically odorless compared to the distinctive fruity smell emitted by other types. (Courtesy of the Field Museum)

New crickets, one named Jiminy Cricket

New crickets, one named Jiminy Cricket

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species September 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

New taxa and notes on some Landrevinae (Orthoptera) from Malay Peninsula.

Four new species of leaping frogs, one named for Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Four new species of leaping frogs, one named for Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Amphibians, Celebrity Taxa, New Species September 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Four new species and further review of the leaping frogs of India published.

Another animal, a parasitic flatworm, named after President Obama

Another animal, a parasitic flatworm, named after President Obama

Celebrity Taxa, Invertebrates, New Species September 9, 2016 at 8:09 am

Baracktrema obamai is a tiny parasitic flatworm that lives in turtles’ blood.  A new study officially names the 2-inch, hair-thin creature after Obama.  Scientists have also named a fish (Etheostoma obama), a trapdoor spider (Aptostichus barackobamai), a lichen species (Caloplaca obamae) and an extinct insect-eating lizard (Obamadon gracilis) after the current commander in chief.

Beetle named after Chinese President Xi Jinpin; media fumigated.

Beetle named after Chinese President Xi Jinpin; media fumigated.

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species July 12, 2016 at 8:17 pm

A patriotic Chinese scientist named a newly-discovered beetle species after Chinese President Xi Jinping. Apparently, Xi Dada was less than flattered, given that the beetle feeds on decaying matter. Posts about the bug have subsequently been removed from Chinese social media sites like Weibo, Douban and RenRen as Chinese censors fumigate the internet yet again.

Sir David Attenborough’s Dragonfly

Sir David Attenborough’s Dragonfly

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species May 20, 2016 at 10:19 am

A newly discovered dragonfly from Madagascar has been named in honour of BDS Patron Sir David Attenborough on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and in recognition of Sir David’s lifelong devotion to championing the work of hundreds of scientists, conservation biologists and naturalists worldwide, enlightening generations of children, and inspiring the public’s love of nature.  Video of co-discover Dr. Klaas-Douwe Dijkstra’s birthday gift to Sir Attenborough.  The discovery of this dragonfly among others shows that in many cases, unknown species are thriving within human communities.

The wave spider, named Brian: a new Aussi water spider with terrifying skills

The wave spider, named Brian: a new Aussi water spider with terrifying skills

Arachnids, Celebrity Taxa, New Species March 10, 2016 at 12:00 am

Australian researchers have named it Dolomedes briangreenei, or Brian for short.  This type of water spider waits on the surface until an insect, small fish, or tadpole comes near. The spider races to grab its quarry and then drags it to the shore to devour it.

Zorro, the new Latin American fish species, takes off the mask to show its true identity

Zorro, the new Latin American fish species, takes off the mask to show its true identity

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species March 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Unidentified since its discovery in 2007, a large fish species from Amazonia has failed to give out enough information about itself, leaving only insufficient hints about its genus. Nevertheless, three scientists have now recovered the missing pieces to puzzle out its mysterious identity. In their study, published in the open-access journal ZooKeys, they describe the fish as a new species and name it after the fictional secretive Latin American character Zorro.  

New Chewing Lice Species Named after Darth Vader

New Chewing Lice Species Named after Darth Vader

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species February 26, 2016 at 4:51 pm

A new louse species has been named Ricinus vaderi after Darth Vader, the evil character in the Star Wars movies, because of the similarity between the head of the louse and Darth Vader’s helmet.

A new flower, named for martian botanist Mark Watney.

A new flower, named for martian botanist Mark Watney.

Celebrity Taxa, New Species, Plants February 26, 2016 at 4:26 pm

A new bush tomato species from the Northern Territory, Australia named for Mark Watney.

Pop star species from the Johnny Cash spider to the Beyoncé horsefly

Pop star species from the Johnny Cash spider to the Beyoncé horsefly

Arachnids, Celebrity Taxa, New Species February 8, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Scientists have just named a new species of tarantula after Johnny Cash. What other pop legends have received similar taxonomic treatment?  

14 New Species of Tarantula.  One dressed in black, found near Folsom Prison named for Johnny Cash.

14 New Species of Tarantula. One dressed in black, found near Folsom Prison named for Johnny Cash.

Arachnids, Celebrity Taxa, New Species February 8, 2016 at 3:11 pm

A challenging, years-long survey has uncovered 14 new species of tarantula, including one named after Johnny Cash. National Geographic. Photography by Dr. Chris A Hamilton.  

If You Discover a New Species, Don’t Name It After Yourself

If You Discover a New Species, Don’t Name It After Yourself

Celebrity Taxa, Species Discovery January 25, 2016 at 12:00 am

Scaptia beyonceae, the horsefly named for the Queen B.

New giant Stink Bug Named after J. R. R. Tolkien’s Anca…

New giant Stink Bug Named after J. R. R. Tolkien’s Anca…

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species January 9, 2016 at 12:00 am

Main Report: Entomology Today | Category: | Taxa: | Named for: Other reports:

New Soldier Beetle Named after Japanese Animated TV Ser…

New Soldier Beetle Named after Japanese Animated TV Ser…

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species January 9, 2016 at 12:00 am

Main Report: Entomology Today | Category: | Taxa: | Named for: Other reports:

The ninja lanternshark

The ninja lanternshark

Celebrity Taxa, Fish, New Species December 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

The discovery of the new lanternshark was made off of eight specimens.  The shark lives in the central Pacific Ocean’s “twilight zone,” from around 800 to 1,400 meters deep, and grows to a length of about half a meter.   Photo by Vicky Vásquez

Sixty new species of dragonflies and damselflies, from Africa

Sixty new species of dragonflies and damselflies, from Africa

Celebrity Taxa, Insects, New Species December 12, 2015 at 10:29 am

The researchers found a stunning amount of diversity amongst the dragonflies, many of which are brightly colored.  With this research, the number of dragonfly species known in Africa increases at once by almost 10%, from 700 to 760 species.  Naming so many new species became a challenge for the authors. The species live in freshwater bogs, lakes, rivers and well-forested areas that are increasingly under threat.   “The species’ beauty and sensitivity can raise awareness for the densest and most threatened biodiversity: freshwater covers less than one percent of Earth’s surface, but harbours ten percent of animal species, of which a third mayRead More

Naming an animal

Naming an animal

Celebrity Taxa, New Species November 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Philip Hoare, author of The Leviathan,  argues that whimsical names steals creatures’ intrinsic poetry.