If you’re a fan of Japanese animation, you probably know about Neon Genesis Evangelion, a popular anime that has had a strong influence on Japanese popular culture.
Four new soldier beetles in the family Cantharidae and the genus Lycocerus have been discovered in Taiwan, and one of them is partially named after the TV series.
The name Lycocerus evangelium is celebratory, since “evangelium” means “good news” in Latin, because its discovery was good news for the team who identified it. But the specific epithet is also in memory of Neon Genesis Evangelion, according to Yun Hsiao, an ungraduate student from National Taiwan University.
He and Professor Ping-Shih Yang and Professor Chiun-Cheng Ko collaborated with a Japanese entomologist, Dr. Yûichi Okushima from Kurashiki Museum of Natural History. The team examined more than 400 specimens from museum collections and discovered the four species, which they have have described in the European Journal of Taxonomy.
The other three soldier beetles also belong to the genus Lycocerus, which is one of the most diverse genera in Asia.
Lycocerus yitingi is named after its collector, Mr. Yi-Ting Chung from Taiwan. Lycocerus kintaroi is named after its collector as well, in memory of the late Dr. Kintaro Baba, an outstanding Japanese entomologist. Lycocerus aurantiacus is named for its orange-fringed pronotum.
Habitus photos, illustrations of genitalia of both sexes, an identification key to the species, and distribution maps for the new species are provided in the article.
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