New Aussie Wasp Species Named After Oreos And 'Doctor Who' Aliens
Because why not.
A team of Aussie researchers from Adelaide University has come up with some creative names for 10 newly-identified wasp species.
Several of the species are named after fellow taxonomists and entomologists who helped collect specimens for Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries' research.
But Fagan-Jeffries' mentors and colleagues are not the only inspiration for the newly described wasp species.
The Sathon oreo gets its name from its antennae, which are dark brown with a thick white stripe in the middle, a trait Fagan-Jeffries likened to an Oreo chocolate biscuit.
Another species of wasp injects its eggs into live caterpillars, leaving the baby wasps to slowly eat the caterpillar from the inside out, Fagan-Jeffries said.
Its name? Choeras zygon, named after the infamous 'zygon' aliens in the popular Doctor Who franchise.
“Zygon aliens consume their host whilst inhabiting them, a trait particularly relevant to parasitic wasps,” Fagan-Jeffries said.
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The study was conducted as part of the 'Bush Blitz' program funded by the Australian Government, BHP, and Earthwatch Australia.
Since 2010 the program has documented 1,660 new plant and animal species in Australia, including 17 wasps.
Fagan-Jeffries said she has loved insect since she was in school and her career has had a lot of support from entomologists.
“Naming species after those people is just a tiny way of saying thank you,” she said.