Thursday, April 14, 2005

Slime-mould bugs named after US statesmen.

US President George W Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld can now also be called bushi, cheneyi and rumsfeldi, or simply slime-mould beetles.

Two former Cornell University entomologists named three species in the genus Agathidium after the US leaders, Cornell has announced.

Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller christened 65 new species of slime-mould beetles, named for the fungi-like moulds on which they feed, which they discovered after collecting thousands of specimens for a study of their evolution and classification.

Professor Wheeler, who after 24 years as a professor of entomology and plant biology at Cornell is now the keeper and head of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London, said the US leaders were being honoured for having "the courage of their convictions".

The bushi beetle is found in southern Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia; the rumsfeldi is from Oaxaca and Hidalgo in Mexico, and the cheneyi is known from Chiapas, Mexico, Professor Wheeler said.

i offer no comment, other than to note that i love science.

link from blondesense

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