SYDNEY - “Game of Thrones” may have finished up its final winter this past May, but its infamous villain, the Night King, lives on - through a fly.
The paramonvius nightking is a newly discovered species of bee fly named after Game of Thrones’ Night King because it reigns in winter and has a crown of spine-like hairs, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
“It has a serious side, but naming new species is the most fun a taxonomist can have,” said Bryan Lessard, entomologist at CSIRO’s National Research Collections Australia, in a statement. “Australia needs a step change in biodiversity discovery and at CSIRO we’re pulling together many strands of science to deliver that.”
Lessard credited Xuankun Li, a Ph.D. student at CSIRO (and a huge “Game of Thrones” fan), for the new bee fly’s name, “proving that inspiration for new species names can come from anywhere.”
The organization believes that a species without a scientific name is invisible to science and conservation, noting that Australia has only named about 20 to 25 percent of its half-a-million species.
“Our biodiversity runs the planet. It cycles nutrients, sequesters carbon, pollinates crops and cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Dr. Lessard. “We literally couldn’t live without it.”
The fly is just one of 230 species that CSIRO has named so far this year.