Beetles are popular among magazine’s ‘top 18 species’ list

Reporter Lisa Merolla writes about her top 18 picks of species named after famous people in Popular Mechanics. She opens her story with " What do George W. Bush, Roy Orbison and Darth Vader have in common? All three have had new beetle species named after them."

Who did the naming? Quentin Wheeler, ASU vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Wheeler, an entomologist who also is director of the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU, named six of the top 18 on the Popular Mechanics' list with Kelly Miller at the University of New Mexico and Paolo Mazzoldi of Brescia, Italy.

It's all about bringing attention to biodiversity. "When you are a taxonomist and are mentioned in Rolling Stone, you know you have arrived," quips Wheeler in the story.


Orectochilus orbisonorum in honor of the late rock ‘n' roll legend Roy Orbison and his widow Barbara.

Agaporomorphus colberti, a diving beetle from Venezuela, named honor Stephen Colbert.