Bug Blog

The Fame Game – Insects Named After Celebrities

The Fame Game – Insects Named After Celebrities

It appears not even serious-minded scientists can resist the allure of celebrities. You wouldn’t think people who study insects would be swayed by the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood elite, but surprisingly enough, many of them have gone so far as to name new species of insects after famous celebrities.

A species of horsefly was named after the Bootylicious diva Beyonce, reportedly because it is the “all time diva of flies.” The inspiration for the name apparently came from the large golden buttocks possessed by the fly.

Stephen Colbert has had a whopping two insects names after him. The diving beetle Agaporomorphus Colberti was named after the star by Arizona State University researchers in 2009 in honor of his birthday. The trapdoor spider Aptostichus stephencolberti was also named after the political satirist. Interestingly, this spider is closely related to the spider A. angelinjolieae, which happens to be named after Angelina Jolie.

For you “Titanic” fans out there, you’ll be happy to know that she hasn’t been left out of the celebrity insect club. A species of carabid beetle was named Agra katewinsletae, in honor of the English actress Kate Winslet.

If you discovered a new insect species, what celebrity would you name it after?