25 Mar 2024

Animals Discovered and Named After Celebrities


Your favourite celebrity might have an animal twin! Find out about 4 different species named after celebrities and how they got that name. So that you know, there are no pictures of bugs in this article so you’re free to explore.


Millipede – Taylor Swift

In 2022, the entomologist and swiftie Derek Henneh went out to find a millipede whilst searching the Appalachian Mountains. The Twisted Claw Millipede is small, orange/brown, and has special legs. So whilst it doesn’t resemble Taylor at all, Derek named it Nannaria swiftae because “Her music helped me get through the highs and lows of graduate school, so naming a new millipede species after her is my way of saying thanks” says David.

Taylor Swift performing in Argentina on her Eras Tour. Pic: AP


Horse Fly – Beyonce

In 2012, a group of researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia were working with an unnamed and previously discovered species of fly. Throughout their research, they noticed that the fly seemed a lot more glamorous than others, with dense golden hair. They said that the species are the “all-time diva of flies.” and called them scaptia (plinthina) beyonceae.



Treehopper – Lady Gaga

The entomology student Brendan Morris noticed that this bug was found in 1990 and sat in a museum for a very long time after. It was previously unnamed, and when Brendan looked at it, he knew exactly what to call it.

“If there is going to be a Lady Gaga bug, it’s going to be a treehopper, because they’ve got these crazy horns, they have this wacky fashion sense about them,” he said. He named Kaikaia gaga in 2020 and hopes the name will help people take an interest in these animals.



Praying Mantis – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In 2016, researchers at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History discovered a new species of praying mantis. This mantis, called Ilomantis ginsburgae was named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg because the frilly neck of the mantis looks very similar to the frilly Jabots worn by Ruth. 

It’s also rare for entomologists to study the female of the mantis species, but in this case, they did. This also influenced the name they chose, because they wanted to celebrate female animals in scientific research whilst paying tribute to Ruth’s efforts to protect women’s rights.


There are loads more species inspired by celebrities, so why don’t you have a search for some more?

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