Plant and animal species named after celebrities

Naming plant or animal species after celebrities might sound weird but it actually happens more often than you think. For instance, two years ago, scientists from Duke University discovered 19 fern species and named them after Lady Gaga. But Gaga is certainly not the only star who has been honored this way. Here are some other species named after celebrities.

David Hasselhoff









After scientists discovered a new type of Yeti crab in 2012, they noticed that this crawler had an unusually hairy chest and dubbed it the “Hasselhoff.” The crab reportedly lives approximately 2,500 meters below water, on the Southern Ocean floor of the Antarctic.

Liv Tyler









Agra liv is a species of carabid beetle named after Liv Tyler, star of the movie Armageddon, because the “existence of this species of elegant beetle is dependent upon the rainforest not undergoing an Armageddon”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger









Schwarzenegger is a very successful man. He managed to become the youngest Mr. Olympia ever, and is widely considered the greatest bodybuilder of all time. He would then conquer Hollywood, soon becoming one of the highest-paid action stars of all time. And he was the Governor of California. But on top of all that, Arnie has an insect named after him. Back in 2002, a rare species of carabid beetle was named Agra Schwarzeneggeri, since the remarkably-developed middle femora of the males resembled Arnold’s extremely muscular biceps.










Scaptica beyonceae is a species of horse fly named after the singer Beyoncé. Australian scientists say they chose the name because the fly’s spectacular gold color makes it the “all time diva of flies”. One of the scientists said: “It was the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen  that led me to name this fly in honor of the performer.”

Harrison Ford









Harrison Ford has two species of spider named after him. Calponia harrisonfordi is a type of spider that is thought to eat other spiders. The man who discovered it, Norman I. Platnick, simply wanted to thank Ford for narrating a documentary he had filmed for the London Museum of Natural History. The Pheidole harrisonfordi is a species of ant named after Harrison to recognize his work as the Vice Chairman of Conservation International.

Angelina Jolie









Angelina Jolie has won many honors in her film career, and can also add a species of trapdoor spider to the list. A trapdoor spider Aptostichus angelinajolieae is named after the famous actress. These spiders build burrows then leap out of them, seize their prey and inject it with venom. The species was discovered by the Auburn University professor Jason Bond in 2008.

Helen Mirren









Borneo Exotics named a new nepenthes cultivar nepenthes “Helen” during the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011. Dame Helen unveiled the new hybrid Nepenthes at the show and said: “I hope in future we don’t see gardens being abandoned and neglected. Even if it’s just filled with potatoes that would be something. I also hope that with recycling we are realizing the error of our ways. You have to use everything.”

John Cleese

John Cleese Meets Colin The Lima At Bristol Zoo








Avahi cleesei is an endangered species of lemur named after John Cleese. Cleese is known for highlighting the plight of endangered lemurs and has even filmed a documentary on these animals. Listed as endangered, the species has a distribution range of less than 5,000 km², it currently occurs at effectively a single location, and there is continuing decline in the area and quality of habitat within the range of the species. Avahi cleesei is known only from the Tsingy de Bemaraha region of western Madagascar. It was originally discovered in 1990 and named in 2005.


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One response to “Plant and animal species named after celebrities”

  1. Teddy says:

    I find this article very interesting. I have never thought of this before. Wow! This is simply amazing how new insets, plants and animals get named after celebrities. This is sort of weird to hear, but why not. When there is a wish, there is a way. Interesting to see the spider after Angelina Jolie as this woman is definitely hot and is considered one of the most beautiful on the planet. I wished to see the way this spider looks then. LOL well, maybe it means hat it easy to get into her net – a trap for the men. Hehehe! Still, thanks for the enlightenment, I will know more from now.)