Scientists Just Named This New Species of Bee Fly After a "Game of Thrones" Character
The new species, which is only active in the wintertime, has a "crown" of hairy coating on its head. That's why scientists chose to name it in honor of a prominent villain in this popular series.
Researchers in Australia have discovered a new species of bee fly that, thanks to a few striking characteristics, immediately reminded them of Game of Thrones, HBO's popular television series adapted from novels of the same name written by George R.R. Martin. According to USA Today, scientists at Australia's national science agency CSIRO were only able to collect the fly in question in the dead of winter. Plus, the fly lives and breeds solely in one region of Western Australia, and it naturally grows a coat of hair around its head which scientists say look exactly like a crown. If these characteristics remind you of a certain villain, you wouldn't be alone: Scientists have decided to christen the fly the "Paramonovius nightking," honoring its ties to the fictional Night King from Game of Thrones.
New research on the fly and its unique behaviors has been published in Austral Entomology, and researchers say it's one of 83 types of bombyliini, a subspecies of bee flies that are mostly found in Australia. According to a press statement released by those working on the project, the name for the new species only came about due to Xuankun Li, a Ph.D. student working with CSIRO, and his love for the fictional series.
"This species is named after the Night King in the American fantasy drama Game of Thrones, because all the specimens were collected in winter and the fly is mostly covered in thick pale pruinescence (a dusty or frosted coating)," said Li, who pioneered the research alongside David Yeates in their study for the Australian National Insect Collection.
This isn't the first time that Game of Thrones' characters have inspired the scientific community. Last year, several new species of spiders were named after literary characters, including a Brazilian spider that earned his moniker from Game of Thrones' Lord Varys, who was often referred to as "The Spider" throughout the series. And a cluster of beetle species were also named after dragons belonging to protagonist Daenerys Targaryen by an entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln last December.