Inspiration for a new species name can come from anywhere. Case in point: A new bee fly has been named after a villain from HBO’s Game of Thrones.
According to Mashable, Australian scientists discovered a new kind of bee fly and found it had similar characteristics to the iconic Night King from Game of Thrones. For instance, it is only collected in winter, it resides solely in one region of Western Australia, and it has a hairy coating, especially on its head, which makes it look like a crown. Kind of sounds like the undead leader, right?
In honor of its apparent resemblance to the character, the species is now called Paramonovius nightking. It is one of 83 types of bombyliini (described by Mashable as "typically stout and hairy bee flies") found in Australia.
Xuankun Li, a Ph.D. student working with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, is a huge Game of Thrones fan and is responsible for the name, according to a press statement. The new research was published in the journal Austral Entomology.
"This species is named after the Night King in the American fantasy drama Game of Thrones, because all the specimens were collected in winter and the fly is mostly covered in thick pale pruinescence [a dusty or frosted coating]," said Li and David K. Yeates in their study for the Australian National Insect Collection.
This is hardly the first time Game of Thrones has inspired a species name. A Brazilian spider was named after Lord Varys, a fitting title since he was often called “The Spider" in Thrones. Three beetles were also given the names of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons—Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion—by entomologist Brett Ratcliffe who said on his decision, "I’ve often thought that scientists take themselves too seriously."