Pokémon fan entomologists have named three newly-identified rare Australian beetle species after three Legendary Birds of Kanto i.e. Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos. Each of these beetles belongs to species of genus Binburrum (a group of brightly-colored beetles found in southern Australia), and scientists have named them Binburrum articuno, Binburrum moltres, and Binburrum zapdos, as each has a distinct look that can be easily matched with the three Legendary Bird Pokemon.
These new beetles were discovered by ENMU Entomology Professor Dr. Darren Pollock and Australian National University Ph.D. student Yun Hsiao, as part of their research into species of beetle that are native to Australia. And during an interview with Eastern New Mexico University last week, Pollock said that Hsiao, being a Pokémon fan in his youth, suggested naming these three beetles after the three Legendary Birds of Kanto from Pokémon Red and Blue.
“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.”
As you can see above, Pollock and Hsiao have hinted at a possibility that there could be more species of Binburrum out there in the world, and that they might also receive Pokémon names. However, these new species of Binburrum named B. articuno (southeastern South Australia), B. moltres (northeastern Queensland, Australia), and B. zapdos (northeastern Queensland), only have two things in common: wings and their rarity, none of these have elemental powers of ice, fire, or electricity like the Pokemon birds.
And if you’re thinking that these three beetles are the first insects to be named after a Pokémon, then know that “a wasp called Stentorceps weedlei was named after Weedle, a bee species is called Chilicola Charizard, a pterosaur species is officially Aerodactylus scolopaciceps, and a mammalian ancestor called a dicynodont is called Bulbasaurus phylloxyron.“
Well, naming rare animals, bugs, after a Pokémon does makes a lot of sense as the creator of Pokémon has said that “the inspiration for the series came from his bug-hunting hobby as a kid,” so naming real-life bugs after creatures from the series “Pokémon” is obviously a good fit.
To learn more about these three new beetles species, see research paper published online by Cambridge University Press.
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