New species of beetle named after climate activist Greta Thunberg

Eco 29/10/2019

Looks like 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg will be needing to add another bullet point to her CV, because scientists have named a newly discovered beetle after her.

Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have officially called the insect Nelloptodes Gretae to honour the Swedish activist’s “outstanding contribution” in raising global awareness of climate change.

The beetle, which has no eyes or wings, is less than 1mm long.

Dr Michael Darby, a scientific associate at the Natural History Museum, said: “I chose this name as I am immensely impressed with the work of this young campaigner and wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues.”

Dr Max Barclay, senior curator at the Natural History Museum, said: “The name of this beetle is particularly poignant since it is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them, because of biodiversity loss – so it is appropriate to name one of the newest discoveries after someone who has worked so hard to champion the natural world and protect vulnerable species.”

The beetle was first found in Kenya in 1965 by the British naturalist William Block. In 1978, Block donated his samples to the Natural History Museum, where the beetle sample remained unnamed.