Last updated May 1, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Doing good deeds can have unusual spin-offs.
Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio now has a water beetle named after him.
The scientific name of Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi was chosen to mark the 20th anniversary of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and its support for biodiversity preservation.
It is one of three new species of aquatic beetle genus Grouvellinus Champion found by citizen scientists at a waterfall in the remote Maliau Basin in Malaysian Borneo.
“Tiny and black, this new beetle may not win any Oscars for charisma but in biodiversity conservation every creature counts,” said entomologist Dr Iva Njunjic, the founder of Taxon Expeditions, which arranges scientific surveys for untrained laypeople. This was its first expedition.
Names of the new species were selected by expedition participants and staff of the Maliau Basin Studies Centre and in a public contest organised by a Dutch science program. That explains why one of the other discoveries is now known as Grouvellinus andrekuipersi after the Dutch physician and astronaut.
For the record – but with no explanation – the third is called Grouvellinus quest.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has contributed to more than 200 grassroots projects around the globe devoted to climate change mitigation, wildlife conservation and habitat preservation.
The paper published in ZooKeys.