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A khaleesi in the nude

When't the last time you read about nudibranchs everywhere? Nudi as in nude probably got some attention, but we're talking sea slugs. Thanks her namesake, the new Khaleesi draws the spotlight among newly-identified species. Which proves that marketing is everything.

It's not the first time critters are named after characters. An Thailand wasp, Cystomastacoides kiddo, is named after Beatrix Kiddo, the assassin played by Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill." The parasitic wasp lays eggs in the bodies of other insects.


If you need more proof that scientists have fun naming new critters, here's a fly named beyonceae. That's right, like Beyonce. Because the fly's bootilicious rear is yellow. Named by Australian researcher Bryan Lessard, Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae is a horsefly.

And there's more: Stephen Colbert lends his name to both a spider and a beetle, his California spider found in 2007, Aptostichus stephencolberti, related to the spider A. angelinjolieae. Harrison Ford also names two species, a spider and an ant.

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