Three Incredibly Rare Beetles Named After Pokemon

A research paper published this week described three newly-identified insects named according to their rarity. Courtesy of Pokemon-loving scientists, these three Australian beetles were given the names Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos. Each of these beetles is a species of the genus Binburrum Pollock, and each has a distinct look, allowing them to easily be matched to the three Legendary Pokemon.

VIA Kotaku, Speaking with Eastern New Mexico University in an interview last week, ENMU Entomology Professor Dr. Darren Pollock spoke of his work with Australian National University Ph.D. student Yun Hsiao, with whom the research on the newly-identified beetles was published.

"Yun said 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," said Pollock. "We already have plans to describe more new species of this genus that have turned up since we finished the paper, with perhaps more Pokémon names." Earlier named Binburrum include Binburrum angusticollis and Binburrum concavifrons. Maybe it'll be time to re-name these after Mewtwo and Mew?

These new species of Binburrum were named B. articuno (southeastern South Australia), B. moltres (northeastern Queensland, Australia), and B. zapdos (northeastern Queensland). Each of these three species of the beetle is currently known only in Australia. You can find a list of locations in which Binburrum Pollock has been spotted in the Atlas of Living Australia.

To learn more about these beetles, see the research paper "Contribution to the knowledge of the endemic Australian genus Binburrum Pollock, 1995 (Coleoptera: Pyrochroidae: Pilipalpinae), with description of three new species" as published online by Cambridge University Press. This research was authored by Yun Hsiao and Darren A Pollock.