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Slime-mold Beetles Named for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld

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posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 05:09 PM

Namesakes of the U.S. President and two of his key people might be crawling around your back yard as you read this.

Three new beetles of the genus Agathidium have been named after members of the current administration: A. bushi, A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi.

Two former Cornell University entomologists, Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller, were in charge of naming 65 new species of slime-mold beetles, which they discovered while studying the insects’ evolution and classification.

Wheeler, who is now head of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London, said that the choice to name beetles after President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was out of admiration for their principles, not because they look like the beetles.

None of these beetles make their home inside the Beltway.

Wheeler said Agathidium bushi has been found in southern Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia; Agathidium cheneyi inhabits Chiapas, Mexico; and Agathidium rumsfeldi is known from Oaxaca and Hidalgo in Mexico.

The slime-mold beetles are so-called because they feed on fungi-like molds.

this is funny...

it also made me happy

Drawing of a slime-mold beetle of the genus Agathidium closely related to new species named for White House politicians.


posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 05:27 PM
I think you're trying to spin this as an insult, but in fact it is a great honor. Naming a species in your honor is one of the greatest things a biologist can bestow on someone. Note that article also states that other closely related beetles were named after the discoverers' wives and other loved ones.

[edit on 4/13/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 05:33 PM
this is crying out for comment..... and so many good ones come to mind...
very appropriate way to "honor" our leaders...
did the guy actually think this would be complimentary? having a species named after you is complimentary usually, but I think they needed to use a bit of diplomacy in what type of bug they chose. (butterflys would be great... dung beetles, not so great)

Slime mold beetles...hummm
you are what you eat I suppose.

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 05:37 PM
Well you know these scientific types...they've probably dedicated their entire lives to insects like these and think they're wonderful! All the majestic species like lions, tigers and eagles are already classified, so there's probably not too many things other than insects and such left to name after people.

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 05:41 PM
well its not too often you can discover a "good" species.

id like to be named after something too!

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 07:04 PM
It might've been intded as an honourific, they're probably not going to say it was an insult.

I suspect it was intended as an insult tho.

Then again, when you have to name 65 beetles, who knows what the thought process is right?
Keep in mind, beetles are one of, if not the, most specious groups on the planet.

If the world was created by god, then he had an inordinate fondness for beetles, is the saying.

They're probably, almost literally, running out of names.

As long as we're talking about nommencalture and classification...

There is a theropod dinosaur named 'syntarsus', However, that name is occupied by, yep, a beetle, so the name had to be rejected.

There is some politics involved in these sorts of things too. Some might remember a fraudulent fossil that got a big display in national geographic (this was before a proper examination, wherein it was found to be a fraud). It was composed of the upper body of a bird and the lower body of a dinosaur (I beleive). It was names 'Archaeoraptor', which is a good name. Of course, when the fraud was found out, the name was stigmatized.

Well, a bird paleontologist seized the occasion and named the dinosaur half 'archaeoraptor' in a journal, which makes the name official, which was a slap in the face of the dinosaur paleos.

A similar thing happened with syntarsus, above. Like i said, the name was 'occupied' by a beetle, so the dino had no name. An 'enterprising' beetle zoologist published a study or somesuch of the dinosaur naming it Megapnosaurus, which a lot of paleo people were miffed at.

Because meg apno saurus means 'Big Dead Lizard"

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 07:57 PM
The problem is Not running out of 'good' animals to name.

The problem was running out of good names for animals.

They ran out. They had to use Bush, Rumsfeld & Cheney.

Dear Beetles,

We apologize.
Maybe in the future we can re-name you.

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 09:08 PM
it could be a good thing and a bad thing...

you are right...

but it is ironic, that it is a beetle, nonetheless...

posted on Apr, 13 2005 @ 09:48 PM
They always said he had beady eyes!

A name means everything. It's a dream to be remembered like we remember Newton, or Freud, or Darwin. This is a great honor for them, whether it was meant that way or not. Albiet, a beetle is a beetle. When was the last time anyone called a beetle anything but 'beetle?'


posted on Apr, 15 2005 @ 05:25 AM
Ahhh...finally a Life Form that suits these three names - a fungi-sucking-slime-mold-beetle!

[edit on 15/4/05 by Souljah]

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