AUSTRALIA — Australian scientists have the thrilling task of naming different species of animals that are found, and this year a species of bee fly was named after a character from “Game of Thrones.”
The fly is just one of 230 species that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia has named so far this year. All names have to have a combination of a genus name, which comes first, and a species name.
“Xuankun Li, who named the bee fly Paramonovius nightking, is a PhD student at CSIRO and a huge fan of ‘Game of Thrones,’ proving that inspiration for new species names can come from anywhere,” entomologist Dr. Bryan Lessard said in a statement.
The name was chosen because it comes out in the winter and has a crown of spine-like hairs.
According to CSIRO, only 20-25% of Australia’s half million species have been named.
“Our biodiversity runs the planet. It cycles nutrients, sequesters carbon, pollinates crops and cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink. We literally couldn’t live without it,” Lessard said.
Other newly named species include a cusk eel named Barathronus algrahami, after fish collection manager Al Graham, and a tiny soldier fly from Judbarra National Park, Northern Territory, named Prosopochrysa lemannae, in honour of insect technician Cate Lemann.