Two New Stink Bug Species Named for Dragons From Game of Thrones

Neoacledra drogon and Neoacledra viserion

By Eduardo Faundez, Ph.D. Recently two new Chilean species of stink bugs were discovered and named after Drogon and Viserion, dragons of the TV series “Game of Thrones,” based on A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin. My colleagues—Mariom Carvajal at the Instituto de la Patagonia, University of Magallanes and David Rider, Ph.D., […]

South American Stink Bug Named after J. R. R. Tolkien’s Nazgûl

By Eduardo Faúndez For several years in the systematic entomology laboratory at North Dakota State University, we have been working on the systematics of the South American stink bug genus Acledra. Species of this genus have a variety of “good” and “bad” attributes. For example, some species are capable of changing color according to the […]

New giant Stink Bug Named after J. R. R. Tolkien’s Ancalagon the Black

By Eduardo Faúndez A few months ago here at North Dakota State University’s Systematic Entomology Laboratory, we named an insect Planois smaug after J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous creature Smaug the Dragon. We chose that particular name because the specimens of Planois smaug were ‘sleeping’ in collections for about 60 years, like Tolkiens’ creature, and […]

Patagonian Shield Bug Named After Middle’s Earth’s Smaug the Dragon

By Eduardo Faúndez Last year I wrote about some interesting scientific names that have been given to insects, and about why entomologists choose such names. Now we can add a new one to the list, this one based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels, which have inspired many people around the world, including […]

Curious Scientific Names Can Make Insects Famous

By Eduardo Faúndez Scientific names — at least for plants and animals — are Latinized words, and the Latin language was selected for the naming of new organisms because it’s a dead tongue. Why choose a dead tongue? Here’s why: 1) A dead tongue is neutral because no one speaks it as their native language, […]