Rocking The Insect World

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A new species of beetle has been named to honor a rock and roll icon and his widow.

A new species of beetle that appears as if wearing a tuxedo has been named in honor of the late rock 'n' roll legend Roy Orbison and his widow Barbara.

Entomologist Quentin Wheeler of Arizona State University announced the discovery and naming of the beetle, now dubbed Orectochilus orbisonorum, during a Roy Orbison Tribute Concert on Jan. 25.

The ending of the species name, "orum," denotes it was named after a couple. If the beetle were just named after Roy it would end in "i," and for just Barbara, the name would end in "ae."

Barbara Orbison, who attended the concert along with Orbison's sons Wesley and Roy Kelton Orbison Jr., remarked on her appreciation for the new species name. "I have never seen an honor like that," she said.

To mark the occasion, Wheeler presented Barbara with an original work of art titled “Whirligig." Completed by ASU scientist and artist Charles J. Kazilek, the painting included nine images of a whirligig beetle on cotton watercolor paper.

Well, it certainly is unusual. One wonders when the first album will be in stores.

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3 Responses to Rocking The Insect World

  1. rudytbone says:

    Uh, won’t PETA get upset that we dare to name an animal (ok, insect) after HUMANS!!??

  2. martian says:

    I take it the one in the lower right is the drummer?

  3. Maggie says:

    martian –

    Yeah. He’s the ugly beetle.

    Can’t you see his big schnoz-o-la?

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