Tiny Beetle Named after Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

Named and shamed, as it were. According to the Guardian article :

A tiny species of beetle discovered more than 50 years ago has been named after environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg. Scientists at the Natural History Museum in London have officially called the insect Nelloptodes Gretae to honour the 16-year-old Swedish activist’s “outstanding contribution” in raising global awareness of climate change.

The way she lowers her antennae in a frown and grits her mandibles into a sulk whenever she encounters a predator made her a cinch for the Franz Kafka award for best imitation of an invertebrate.

The arthropod, which has no eyes or wings, is less than 1mm long..

..So at least its appearances on the world’s media will be mercifully short.

Dr Michael Darby, a scientific associate at the Natural History Museum, said: “I chose this name as I am immensely impressed with the work of this young campaigner and wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues…

..and not at all because I wanted to get my name in the papers. Greta’s announcement that she no longer had any interest in studying science, because it’s all been done, is an example to young people everywhere.”

Dr Max Barclay, senior curator in charge of Coleoptera at the Natural History Museum, said: “The name of this beetle is particularly poignant since it is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them, because of biodiversity loss – so it is appropriate to name one of the newest discoveries after someone who has worked so hard to champion the natural world and protect vulnerable species…”

..and who is likely to disappear herself soon, once the inexorable media struggle for survival of the fittest, coupled with the hormonal changes of adolescence, kick in. Will biodiversity loss put paid to the plaits as well as the platypus?

Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, which was awarded to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Who, unlike the scowling runner-up, is longer than one millimetre, and can claim to have done some good in the world.

The Guardian article of the same name as this article seems somewhat peeved that this man of colour has pipped the tiny beetle to the post for this prestigious prize. We all have our blind spots, but some of us are equipped with an intelligence superior to that of a minuscule wingless arthropod or the curator of a major museum. Not that it will do us much good in the struggle for survival.


  1. Since the electricity provider, PG&E, has had to preemptively cut electricity to areas threatened by fire risk, electric-only vehicles are actually quite dangerous. Poor PG&E, tried to accommodate the ever wackier climate based demands of California. They spent billions on solar and wind that could have been spent to reduce wind caused fire risks. It is tragic and infuriating that the scientifically illiterate leadership of California is blaming “climate change” for the results of their ill conceived “climate change policies’. People are dying because if what Schwarzenegger, Newsome, and so many other anti-science fear mongers have pushed. And now, the autistic Saint of climate change, proudly and defiantly ignorant of the science but able to see CO2 is flying to California to screech her gospel of fear and loathing.


  2. No Beth, but the Daily Kos tells me that its antennae have a passing resemblance to braided pigtails. It also informs me that the Ptiliid beetle (wash your mouth out!) was found in Kenyan soil samples donated to the Natural History Museum in 1978.

    Michael Darby said he chose the name because he was “immensely impressed” by the Swedish teenager. Not all that impressed perhaps, because in the same African dirt he found a new genus and eight new species of Ptiliidae. Yet he didn’t name the new genus after Greta, which would have been much more impressive.

    I’m thinking of donating some dung samples to the Museum, in the hope that someone like Michael Darby finds a new beetle and names it after Phil Jones.


    Liked by 3 people

  3. Alan,

    “I’m thinking of donating some dung samples to the Museum, in the hope that someone like Michael Darby finds a new beetle and names it after Phil Jones.”

    I dare say the entomology world is way ahead of you there.

    Three scarabidae (s. fugax, s. occultus, and s. obfuscator) are distinguished by the behavioral adaptations of [respectively] hiding, hiding behind, and hiding the decline in, dung.

    What they really need to do is just name a new species of shit after him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brad I believe dung beetles are divided by life style (manner by which shit is dealt with) into rollers, tunnelers and dwellers.
    What type should Scarabaeus philensis be?
    Don’t really care.


  5. Yes, we’re all aware that we’re in the era of barmy climate ignoramuses and their even barmier admirers. How long can the madness go on?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hunterson7

    I hope Ellen is able to have a dialogue with Greta on the issues Eric Weinstein recently raised about how the good guys ….”are lying their asses off…”

    In can envision “Sanctimony-Industrial Complex” becoming the center piece of a Harvard Case Study or two.

    It was nice to be able to flush the toilet this morning- the generator is operating the well currently. We are into hour 22 of our latest PSPS. My toes were dang cold this morning as it’s about 35F outside.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hunterson:

    I don’t know who Weinstein is, but why (in his mental model) are the “good guys” lying their asses off if the climate issue is serious? Why the why would they feel any need to do so, if they had any confidence that The Science was soon going to start giving serious thought to setting a date on which it might begin coming true?

    Does the mind not rebel?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MeantAL modALs,
    just as fraught as
    cli-sci modALs
    that don’t do clouds
    or other fizzy
    chaotic couplings
    of atmosfeare ‘n
    ocean non-linear,
    over years ‘n
    centuries, millennia,
    unfit for porpoise,
    jabberwok or walrus.


  9. St. Greta may not have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but being the inspiration behind naming a newly discovered dung beetle is so awesome.
    St. Greta now has a You Tube channel, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Eric Weinstein must have a defective sense of irony to miss the obvious as he appears to do so well.


  11. Hunterson7. The Saint Greta beetle is not a dung beetle. That honour is reserved for members of the Climategate fraternity. Unless, of course, new species of parasitic cestodes are found first.

    Hunterson7 every time I read your sobriquet I wonder if you are a Blade Runner replicant.

    Liked by 1 person

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