A wild new Australian beetle has appeared! In fact, make that three new Australian beetles which researchers have chosen to name after legendary Pokémon.
Wild new Pokémon beetles are on the loose
One of the perks of discovering a new species is naming rights. So when Dr Darren Pollock, a professor of entomology at Eastern New Mexico University, and Yun Hsiao, a PhD student at Australian National University, discovered three new beetles they naturally wanted to give them legendary names.
Named after the three legendary bird Pokémon, Binburrum articuno, Binburram moltres and Binburrum zapdos are all beetles in the Binburrum family. These beetles are brightly coloured and most commonly found in South Australia.
Time to expand the Pokédex
Dr. Pollock originally discovered the Binburrum species in 1995. Years later, when working with Hsiao, they uncovered three new distinct specimens from the Binburrum family. The duo decided to name the three of them and included them in their new paper. “Contribution to the knowledge of the endemic Australian genus Binburrum Pollock, 1995” was published in December 2020.
When asked what inspired the beetles’ Pokémon names, Dr. Pollock told ENMU:
“The choice of a name for a new species is not trivial; it must be different from any other described species. One of the ways to ensure this is to make a name that nobody would ever have come up with before. Yun says that he was an aspiring Pokémon trainer when he was young, and so, because of the rarity of the specimens of the three new species, he suggested that we name them after the three Legendary bird Pokémon.”
The duo has plans to research and label more beetle species from the Binburrum genus, potentially with more Pokémon-inspired names.
The beetles don’t seem to share many qualities with their Pokémon counterparts, although B. moltres does have a bright orange colour. They are all incredibly rare, however, so if you catch one in the wild consider yourself a Pokémon master.