A carcass-eating fly has been named after RuPaul
You better werk!
Drag icon RuPaul has become the first drag queen to have an animal named after them - and in this case, the animal is a brand new species of fly, the Guardian reports.
This isn't the first time Taxonomist Bryan Lessard has named a new animal genus after a celebrity - but it is certainly the first drag queen to appear in the animal world.
The RuPaul fly is part of a genus of Opaluma, which are named for their distinct aesthetic that resembles “little gems buzzing around the forest floor.
“There’s a new wave of entomologists using pop culture to generate interest in our science and what we do, which is really exciting,” Lessard told the Guardian.
He continued to say that naming a fly after a pop-culture icon is a brilliant way to shed light on the growing impact of climate change.
“With bushfire recovery efforts, normally the interest goes to the cute and cuddly species like koalas, but a lot of the invertebrates don’t have any attention," he said, before reiterating how vital these usually-overlooked animals are to thriving ecosystems.
Insects such as the RuPaul fly are necessary for transferring nutrients through the food chain. They feed off rotting carcasses and plants whose nutrients are passed along once the fly is consumed or dies.
He says that naming the fly Opaluma RuPaul was an "obvious decision".
He was watching a lot of RuPaul's Drag Race at the time and was reminded of the reality show host thanks to the fly's "costume of shiny metallic rainbow colours, and it has legs for days".
Lessard drew criticism in 2011 for his choice to name a newly discovered species of fly after Beyonce, which he called Scaptia beyonceae.
But Lessard isn't the only critter fanatic to name a new species after a celeb.
Entomologist Terry Erwin named a beetle Agra katewinsletae after actress Kate Winslet, the BBC reports. He chose the name as Winslet's character in Titanic did not go down with the ship but the same cannot be said for this beetle as climate change ravages its habitat.
Sylvilagus palustris hefneri is a species of rabbit named after Hugh Hefner due to his branding featuring a rabbit. As a result, Hefner donated money towards the protection of the rabbits.
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