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Beyonce Fly? Pop Diva Inspires Naming Of Australian Horse Fly, Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae

Beyonce Fly

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/13/12 02:59 PM ET Updated: 01/14/12 12:20 PM ET

Scientists in Australia have named an animal species after Beyonce. Just what kind of critter is Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae? A sweet-throated songbird? A voluptuous flower?

Actually, it's a horse fly.

"It was the unique dense golden hairs on the fly's abdomen that led me to name this fly in honor of the performer," Bryan Lessard, a researcher at the Australian National Insect Collection, said in a written statement. "Although often considered a pest, many species of horse fly are extremely important pollinators of many plants."

Lessard called the bootylicious bug the "all-time diva of flies."

The Beyonce fly was first collected in the Australian state of Queensland in 1981, the year Beyonce Knowles was born. It's one of almost 4,400 species of horseflies that have been identified around the world and is the subject of a paper published recently in the Australian Journal of Entomology.

Is the naming an honor for Beyonce? A dig? Either way, Sciptia (Plinthina) beyonceae is far from the first animal to be named after a celebrity. Keep clicking to see 7 more...

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  • Agathidium bushi, cheneyi, rumsfeldi and vaderi These beetles were named after George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Darth Vader. What do you think: homage or ridicule?

  • Trilobite A bunch of these prehistoric arthropods were named after musicians. There's the Mackenziurus genus, named after members of the Ramones, the Arcticalymene genus, named after members of the Sex Pistols, and one species each named for Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

  • Eristalis gatesi This flower fly was named after Bill Gates, "in recognition of his great contributions to the science of Dipterology," the study of flies.

  • Attenborosaurus Naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough has had numerous species named after him, including this plesiosaur genus and a carnivorous pitcher plant.

  • Anophthalmus hitleri This unfortunately named beetle was named in by a German collector 1933, when Hitler first came to power. It's customary not to change a species' name after it's been given one, so this nickname will have to stick.

  • Pachygnatha Zappa According to researchers, this one looks like Frank Zappa: "The dark grey mark on the ventral side of the abdomen of the female of this species strikingly resembles the artist's legendary moustache." Image: Bosmans and Bosselaers, 1994

  • Spongiforma squarepantsii Need we say more?

  • Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae And, of course, here's the "all-time diva of flies," named for Beyoncé Knowles. Image: Bryan Lessard, CSIRO

  • Gaga (genus) This genus of fern was named for its 'somewhat fluid definitions of gender.'


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