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  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

Australia Names New Flies after Marvel Superheroes



SYDNEY – Deadpool and Thor have for years been the names of Marvel superheroes, but now they are also the names of some of the 165 new species discovered in Australia, alongside the fly Stan Lee, in homage to the comics’ creator.

The Deadpool fly (Humorolethalis sergius) shares characteristics with the superhero played by actor Ryan Reynolds, according to the Australian government scientific research agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Wednesday.

“Deadpool fly is an assassin with markings on its back that resembles Deadpool’s mask,” CSIRO entomologist Bryan Lessard said in a statement.

The scientist added that the Deadpool fly’s Latin name, Humorolethalis sergius, “sounds like lethal humor and is derived from the Latin words humorosus, meaning wet or moist, and lethalis meaning dead.”

Scientists also paid tribute to the Marvel character Thor, a fly whose Latin name Daptolestes bronteflavus means “blond thunder,” as well as to fly Loki, the adopted brother and enemy of Thor and whose Latin name Daptolestes illusiolautus translates to “elegant deception.”

Marvel superhero Black Widow’s fly is Daptolestes feminategus (woman wearing leather), while the Daptolestes leei is named after Stan Lee for its physical characteristics reminiscent of the sunglasses and white mustache of the American.

Scientists also named another 146 new insects, eight new plant species, two fish, one mite that lives on a lizard, and three other new bird subspecies.

CSIRO bee and wasp expert Juanita Rodriguez said that while naming new species is fun, the scientific process is vital for humans.

“We discovered a new species of spider wasp that is only found in an area badly impacted by bushfires this summer, so now we can carefully monitor its recovery,” she said.

“Spider wasps have venom that could be useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, but most Australian spider wasp species are unknown to science.”

Last year, Lessard’s team named a bee fly Night King in honor of the Game of Thrones saga.

 

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