Agaporomorphus colberti.

Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller have named a beetle after faux-blowhard Stephen Colbert.

Agaporomorphus colberti

This might be pretty cool, if not for the following issues:

1) This was done explicitly to get publicity.
2) It has already been done. (A spider was named after Colbert last year).
3) Apparently without intending to be ironic, Wheeler has also named species after Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

I absolutely support the need to gain attention for the importance of taxonomy. I also think the tradition of naming species in honour of individuals is amusing. Heck, I’m still waiting to have something with my name attached to it. But I’m not sure that naming species after people willy nilly just because they might bring attention is very dignified. On the other hand, maybe Wheeler thinks Colbert is right wing (apparently his illusion is effective among conservatives) such that there’s no inconsistency there.

One thought on “Agaporomorphus colberti.

  1. I doubt he was just naming beetles for right-wing personalities, I was listening to an interview with him on The Science Show a while ago, and as I recall he was planning on naming one after Obama just as soon as he discovered one (though I haven’t actually relistened to confirm).

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