Oct. 29, 2019

A tiny species of beetle discovered more than 50 years ago has been named after Swedish climate activist 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 arthropod, which has no eyes or wings, is less than 1mm long and belongs to the Ptiliidae family, which is made up of some of the world’s smallest beetles.

  • The beetle was first found in 1965 by British naturalist Dr William C Block in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Biological names comprise two words, one for the genus and the second for the species. Traditionally, it is the species name that scientists coin to honour a prominent personality.

  • While the species name gretae derives from Greta, the genus Nelloptodes too is a new genus.