The Pokémon franchise once again proved its popularity as scientists name three newly-discovered Australian bugs after legendary Pokémon.
The Australian bugs were named after the first set of legendary Pokémon; Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos from Pokémon Yellow, Red, and Blue.
In more scientific terms, the three new beetles discovered in Australia – adding to hundreds of thousands of other unique fauna and flora we have – are called Binburrum articuno, Binburrum moltres, and Binburrum zapdos.
Looking at the images of these newfound insects, there’s most definitely a visual link between the Pokémon and these Australian bugs’ wings, although the rest may require a stronger imagination.
Entomologists Dr. Darren Pollock and Yun Hsiao discovered this trio of beetles in South Australia and Queensland. Like the Pokémon, the Binburrum species are extremely rare. Two additional bugs, including Binburrum angusticollis from New South Wales, also accompany the trio, albeit with no relation to Pokémon at all.
Pollock goes on to proudly explain how they decided to name the newly-discovered species.
“Yun says 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.”
“I thought that this was a great idea, and so, the new species which were unveiled to the world in 2020 are Binburrum articuno, Binburrum moltres, and Binburrum zapdos.”
Today is the international day of biotaxonomists! I am pleased to share my recent discovered new Aussie beetles named after Pokemon and Digmon! How diverse and amazing ecosystem we have! @SASBiologists pic.twitter.com/pUxGfwPNxq
— Yun Hsiao (蕭 昀 シャオ ユン) (@YHsiaoBeetle) March 19, 2021
This isn’t the first time an insect has been named after Pokémon. There’s the Chilicola charizard bee species, that’s clearly christened after Charizard, and a Stentorceps weedlei wasp listed in honour of Weedle.
Continuing on, Pikachurin is an extracellular retinal protein discovered in Japan named after Pikachu. Although the Australian bugs aren’t the first to be named after Pokémon, they still join the growing trend of species being inspired by the franchise.
It certainly seems to be an exciting year for Pokémon fans. Just recently, their first open-world game Pokémon Legends Arceus was announced, along with the remakes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl in celebration of the franchise’ 25th anniversary this year.
You can read more about the new Australian bugs here.