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Beyonce Proves Fly with New Golden Reared Species Named After Singer

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In The News

While many dream of garnering the popularity required for something to be named after them, a fly probably isn't first on that list. Singer Beyonce has received a supposed "great honor": What most consider a pest has been named after the celebrity. Worse, the "feature" related to that naming is the fly's ass. At least it's gold.
For the horse fly now named -- Scaptia (Plinthina) -- life is good. It didn't even have a name before now. And at least scientists consider its gold-colored rear an asset. In the world of science, it's about the highest compliment for what research specialists are dubbing the "all-time diva of flies."
Flies are usually best known for their pesky nature, along with their tendency for attraction to waste like feces, the dying, or carcasses. Bryan Lessard of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is the researcher behind the fly's new name that follows "unique dense golden hairs" on its abdomen: The golden fly is now officially named Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae per the Australian National Insect Collection. And it does have one golden ass -- a rear that nearly resembles a bee.
Of course fans are familiar with the stunning gold dress worn by the singer just several years ago, in Beyonce's unforgettable appearance -- that accentuated fine features like the celeb's famous booty -- at the 2007 American Music Awards. She may have chosen silver had the celebrity been able to predict her future with taxonomy. But that may not have altered things much. It may have been a beetle named after the singer instead.
The naming of organisms after celebrities may sound strange. Few are aware that celebs, their names -- and often their personalities -- rotate within the realm of science, but the list of organisms named after celebrities is extensive and growing. Call it a tribute. Harrison Ford's got one. Jerry Garcia's got one. And Simpsons cartoon creator Matt Groening's got one too.
Most names match up pretty well to the celebrity link: It's no surprise that the species linked to Hugh Hefner happens to be a bunny rabbit. Harrison Ford and his famous Indiana Jones role led to not one but two crazy-looking spiders named after the actor. John Cleese has the Woolly Lemur named after the actor, the animal's comical jumping habit as the likely link. And scientists named a dinosaur after singer John Lennon. As for Matt Groening, he's got a sand crab named after him -- though "Spongebob Squarepants" cartoon creator Stephen Hillenburg may have been a more appropriate fit.
There is one species even less becoming than, perhaps, Beyonce's new fly. The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia's got a wood roach named after him. And Elvis Presley probably wouldn't be exactly thrilled about the gall wasp that got its name from the singer.
But if Beyonce's also feeling less than flattered about the flying organism's new name, at least she can rest easy in knowing that the horse fly that now shares her name isn't the common house fly: Scaptia (Plinthina) is a rare species in the world of flies. It's probably no accident that the fly shares her birthday -- the species first collected in 1981, the year Beyonce was born. And she's also in good company. Despite his weight in gold, Bill Gates' "E. gatesi" is nowhere near as shiny. The Gates fly lacks the gold ass.
Oddly, Beyonce hasn't yet responded to the fantastic news, even after Australia's CSIRO contacted her about what it dubs a "great honor" bestowed upon the singer. But the singer really should feel honored, particularly considering alternatives. After all a species named after a "booty-licious" rear, in life, is a lot better than Charlie Chaplin's plight: The famous attribute related to Chaplin's fly species is related to the fly's bow-legged appearance, in death. Everything really is relative.


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)
Locked Bag 10
Clayton South, VIC 3169
Phone: 61-3-9545-2176
Fax: 61-3-9545-2175
37° 56' 23.3052" S, 145° 7' 59.7684" E
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Thank you for the

January 28, 2013 by PurpleHope, 11 years 24 weeks ago

PurpleHope's picture

Thank you for the information! I searched all over google for this.