January 29, 2019

A Nebraska entomologist has named three of his eight newest beetle discoveries after the dragons from the HBO series, “Game of Thrones” and George R.R. Martin’s book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.”

Brett Ratcliffe, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, named the new scarab beetle species drogoni, rhaegali and viserioni. The names are Latinized versions of Drogen, Rhaegal and Viserion, three dragons owned by Daenerys Targaryen, a character in the fictional work.

Ratcliffe said he’s a fan of the series, but ultimately chose the names to draw attention to biodiversity and the amount of undiscovered species.

“When you create names like these, you do it to gain a little bit of notoriety and bring public attention to it,” Ratcliffe said. “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.”

SOURCE: Washington Post, 1/8/19