Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

Meet the Presidential Beetle

Meet the Presidential Beetle: Theorodore Roosevelt — conservationist, president, Mexican beetle. That honor was bestowed on the great statesman by two scientists from Arizona State University and one from the University of New Mexico, who identified a new species of darkling beetle characterized by thick, dark hair and gold leg patches and dubbed it Stenomorpha roosevelti. "To [Roosevelt's] list of honors we are pleased to add this rugged and dashing new species of beetle," said co-discoverer Quentin Miller. This is not the first time Miller has had a hand in naming a beetle after a political leader — including Agathidium bushi, A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi, after the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team. And just to show he can be apolitical too, there's also the Agathidium vaderi and Agaporomorphus colberti, after Darth Vader and, yes, Stephen Colbert.