Animals Named After Celebrities

Different inspirations have spurred the naming of flora and fauna over the years. The praying mantises get their name from their characteristic ‘praying’ posture. The swordfish gets its name from its long, pointy snout. The green mamba is named after its green colour. Saltwater crocodiles get their name because of their habitats. However, do you know that celebrities have also served as inspirations for nomenclature?

Yes! Figures like Barack Obama and Beyoncé inspired the nomenclature of some animals in recent years.

Read on to find some of these animals and the celebrities that inspired their names.


The Beyoncé Horse Fly gets its name from female American musician and actress, Beyoncé. It was not scientifically described in 2011, although it was first discovered thirty years ago. It resides in North-East Queensland, Australia. The abdomen’s tip of the fly has a conspicuous golden colour. A dense patch of golden hair forms it. According to the researcher in charge of naming the fly, Bryan Lessard, this feature is the inspiration for the nomenclature of this insect.


Yes, Hitler has a beetle named after him. And it is a bright-coloured, slender bug. The Adolf Hitler beetle, Anophthalmus hitleri is a blind cave beetle species that is resident only in some humid caves in Slovenia. A German scientist championed the naming of this bug in the early 1930s in honor of the then-German Chancellor, one of the renowned German celebrities at the time.


The Bob Marley parasite only resides – quite interestingly – in the Caribbean Sea in their numbers. Gnathia marleyi came to be by a marine biologist who named the parasite after the late reggae legend, Bob Marley because of his respect and admiration for the legend’s music. The organism is similar to blood-sucking ticks and mosquitoes. It nestles among sponges, algae, and debris on the sea floor.


Hyloscirtus princecharlesi was first discovered in Ecuador in 2008. It is a tree frog found at heights above 2500m above sea level in the tierra fría zone, mountain locations where high elevation results in a markedly cooler climate than it is in the lowlands at a comparable latitude. It got its name from the then Prince Charles (now King Charles III). This was to appreciate his efforts in protecting their rainforest habitat.


Former US president George Bush had a beetle named after him in 2005 – Agathidium bushi. Other Agathidium species include A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi which derive their names from Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld respectively. Some species of this genus Agathidium can curl up into balls in a manner similar to pillbugs. The genus Agathidium consists of round fungus beetles in the family Leiodidae. Members reside in the North American continent.

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