Weevils Named after People in Phone Book


German biologists who uncovered a constellation of new weevil species in New Guinea were stumped to provide names for all their finds until one had the idea of reaching for the phone book.

If your family name is Morea -- found on page 275 of the Papua New Guinea Telephone Directory of 2010 -- you may be interested to know that you have been immortalised with a species of small shiny beetle called Trigonopterus moreaorum.

And a jet-black bug called Trigonopterus kanawiorum honors the Kanawi family, found on page 236 of the unusual taxonomic source.

Local names were conferred on several of the 101 weevil species found in New Guinea's rainforest, a treasure trove of wildlife, by Alexander Riedel of the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe and Michael Balke of the State Zoological Collection in Munich.

Their research is published in the free, open-access journals ZooKeys and Frontiers in Zoology.

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