Five flies species get super names as scientists find inspiration in Marvel


SYDNEY – Australian scientists said on Wednesday they have given five fly species scientific names that pay tribute to the Marvel comic universe, including one named for wise-cracking anti-hero Deadpool and another after superhero creator Stan Lee.

The five flies were part of 165 discoveries named by the scientists over the past year, which included two fish, three subspecies of bird, and even a mite that lives on a lizard, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said in a report.

“Naming a species is the first step to understanding that species,” said CSIRO entomologist Dr Bryan Lessard. “Without a scientific name, these species are invisible to science.”

The Stan Lee’s fly was named for characteristic markings that look like the comic titan’s sunglasses and white mustache, while the Deadpool’s fly has marks on its back that resemble the character’s red-and-black mask, CSIRO said.

“We chose the name Humorolethalis sergius,” Lessard said, referring to the Deadpool’s fly. “It sounds like lethal humor and is derived from the Latin words humorous, meaning wet or moist, and lethalis meaning dead.”

All five species are robber flies, which are assassins of the insect world, according to CSIRO. The other three are named for Marvel characters Loki, Thor and Black Widow.

Naming new species is fun but can also be vital for saving human lives and species, said CSIRO bee and wasp expert Dr Juanita Rodriguez.

“We discovered a new species of spider wasp that is only found in an area badly impacted by bushfires this summer, so now we can carefully monitor its recovery,” Rodriguez said. “Spider wasps have venom that could be useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.”

(Reporting by James Redmayne; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

- Advertisement -

Add your comment(s)



Harris’ Indian heritage could boost Biden with Asian-American voters

By Joseph Ax Joe Biden's presidential campaign plans to step up engagement with Asian-American voters this fall and is betting running mate Kamala Harris' experience...

Special report: A collapsing economy and a family feud pile pressure on Syria’s Assad

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Maha El Dahan, Tom Perry and Michael Georgy BEIRUT/AMMAN/DUBAI - In May, Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf, a cousin and long-time ally of...

Spice is right as Indonesian startups eye value in vanilla

By Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina JAKARTA - Indonesian Sofa Arbiyanto had a manufacturing job in South Korea two years ago when he learned about...

How a Texas shale supplier’s founders made fortunes as the firm failed

By Liz Hampton On July 7, the board of directors at Texas fracking sand supplier Hi-Crush granted nearly $3 million in bonuses to four top...

Twitter to expand censorship rules against misinformation on mail-in ballots & early voting

By Kanishka Singh Twitter said late on Wednesday it plans to expand its rules censoring misinformation regarding mail-in ballots and early voting in the U.S....