Scientists from federal government agency CSIRO have given scientific names to 165 new species this year – and have chosen five flies to name the world’s favorite superheroes and villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There’s the Thor fly in homage to the God of Thunder, played in Marvel by Chris Hemsworth. Its scientific name is “Daptolestes bronteflavus”, which is derived from Latin like most scientific names – and translates to “blond thunder”.
The Thor fly has patches of gold and light brown on its body, antennae, and face, reminiscent of Thor’s blonde hair and golden features in his outfits.
There is the Loki fly, in honor of the tortured god of evil, whose scientific name is “Daptolestes illusiolautus”, which means elegant deception. Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, fakes his own death at one point, betrays other characters, and uses visual illusions.
Black Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff, also has her own fly – “Daptolestes feminategus,” meaning woman clad in leather, in reference to Scarlett Johansson’s iconic leather jumpsuit worn in the movies.
Deadpool also has his own fly, which is orange-red and black in color, the same as Deadpool’s costume – and he shares similar markings to the Deadpool mask.
“We chose the name Humorolethalis sergius (for Deadpool). It sounds like deadly humor and is derived from the Latin words humorosus, meaning wet or damp, and letalis meaning dead, ”CSIRO entomologist Dr. Bryan Lessard said in a statement Wednesday.
The Deadpool fly is a species of thieving fly, who are “assassins of the insect world” – befitting the mercenary anti-hero.
Finally, there’s a Stan Lee fly, in honor of the late Marvel Comics visionary. Lee is known as the founding force of the modern Marvel monster, and co-created Spider-Man and many other popular characters. The fly, named “Daptolestes leei,” has markings on its face that are reminiscent of Lee’s signature sunglasses and white mustache.
Naming the newly discovered species is an “important superpower in solving many global challenges,” the CSIRO statement said.
Scientists also named 151 new insects, eight new plants, two new fish, one new mite, three new bird subspecies and 25 marine invertebrates, some of which were discovered decades ago and have remained unnamed, while others were a more recent discovery. .
The names of these aren’t so fancy, but some pay homage to other things – for example, they named two species after “Investigator,” the research vessel that discovered them.
Naming the species gives scientists a bit of fun, but the meticulous process is also vital for researchers, conservationists, and other types of experts. Being able to identify and differentiate between species allows experts to learn more about them and “help save their lives and ours,” the statement said.
Only about a quarter of Australian insects are known to science, Lessard said in the study. The statement added, “The more species are named, the better we can understand their superpowers.”
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