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Newly Discovered Species Named After Characters From Game Of Thrones

With the final season of Game of Thrones swiftly approaching there is more than a little hype as to the plot and the series outcome.  However, there seems to be hype being generated from another, more unlikely source—bugs.

According to the Omaha-World Herald, an entomologist at the University Nebraska-Lincoln, Brett Ratcliffe, has discovered three never before known to exist beetles.  He has chosen to name them after three characters in the Game of Thrones television series—in specific Daenerys’ dragons Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.

Image: Lincoln Journal Star

Each of the beetles that were discovered originate from the same genus of Gymnetis.  However, their names given to them by Ratcliffe, and based on the massively popular television series, have been Latinized into drogoni, rhaegali, and viserioni, respectively.

The inspiration behind the names of the beetles came about because each insect had orange features, which Ratcliffe stated reminded him of fire.  The beetles were not all discovered in the same place.  The drogoni and viseroni beetles were discovered to be indigenous to Columbia and Ecuador, while on the other hand the rhaegali were found to be native only in French Guiana.

Image: Syfy Wire

Even though Ratcliffe does admit he is a Game of Thrones fan, he is quick to state that the show itself was not the primary reason for the naming of the beetles.  In fact, he states that the naming was more for the representation of biodiversity than anything.

“When you create names like these, you do it to gain  a little bit of notoriety and bring public attention to it.  We’re still discovering life on Earth.  One of every four living things on Earth is a beetle.  We haven’t discovered them all—we’re not even close.”

He went on to add that the standard rules of nomenclature are to stay away from insulting or humorous names.  Even though most do abide by this standard, Ratcliffe himself doesn’t see the need to stay away from humorous names.