It looks like the Australian science community loves Marvel movies and comics just as much as the rest of us. This week, Australia's CSIRO revealed the names of over 165 new species of insects, plants, fish, and birds that were discovered over the past year. Of those discoveries, five were given official names inspired by Marvel icons. Deadpool, Thor, Loki, and Black Widow all had flies named after them, as did Marvel creator Stan Lee.
The Deadpool fly is an assassin that has a red body with black markings. The markings on its back closely resemble the shape of Deadpool's mask. Given its characteristics and abilities, it was only fitting that it got a name inspired by the Merc with a Mouth.
"Deadpool fly is an assassin with markings on its back that resembles Deadpool's mask," said entomologist Dr. Bryan Lessard. "We chose the name Humorolethalis sergius. It sounds like lethal humour and is derived from the Latin words humorosus, meaning wet or moist, and lethalis meaning dead."
The Daptolestes leei is a robber fly that, you guessed it, is named after the one and only Stan Lee. A close-up look at the fly's face shows its resemblance to Lee's recognizable mustache and glasses.
Loki's fly is Daptolestes illusiolautus, which means "elegant deception," a clear nod to the God of Mischief. Thor's fly is Daptolestes bronteflavus, which translates to "blond thunder." Finally, Black Widow's fly is Daptolestes feminategus, meaning "woman wearing leather."
"We named two new species of colourful soldier flies from recently burned national parks. These species are found nowhere else in the world," said Dr. Lessard. "Soldier flies have an important role in nature as nutrient recyclers. Losing such species could have knock-on effects in ecosystems and food chains.
"We are interested in identifying new insect species that might be useful pollinators, nutrient recyclers or the next food source to support the agricultural sector."