Tiny beetle named after climate activist Greta Thunberg

/ 08:57 PM October 28, 2019
Greta Thunberg

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a march and rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton, Alberta, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Image: The Canadian Press via AP

LONDON — Climate activist Greta Thunberg has a tiny new namesake.

London’s Natural History Museum said Friday that a minute species of beetle is being named “Nelloptodes gretae” in honor of the 16-year-old Swede who has pressed the world to do a better job fighting climate change.


Beetle Greta Thunberg

In this undated photo issued by Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, showing the new species of beetle Nelloptodes gretae, named after Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg. The scientific paper written by Michael Darby is published in Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine Friday Oct. 25, 2019, describes and names the new species of beetle Nelloptodes gretae that measures about one Millimetre (0.04 inch) long. Image: Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine/Michael Darby via AP

Michael Darby, a scientific associate at the museum who found the insect in its collection of millions of animal specimens, chose the name to acknowledge Thunberg’s “outstanding contribution” to raising awareness of environmental issues.

The beetle is less than 1 millimeter long and has no eyes or wings. It belongs to a 1960s collection from samples of soil and leaf litter in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, which was donated to the Natural History Museum in 1978.


It is part of the Ptiliidae family of beetles, which includes some of the world’s smallest insects. IB/JB


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TOPICS: Activism, beetles, Climate change, Greta Thunberg, Insects, London
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