The bug that shares the legendary title is scientifically known by its Latin name as Opaluma rupaul, and it bears a fabulous rainbow of iridescent colours.
The new species of soldier fly was named by Drag Race loving entomologist, Dr Bryan Lessard. Giving new meaning to the term ‘super fan’, Lessard Tweeted:
“Category is: new species extravaganza! Introducing the RuPaul soldier fly, serving charisma and uniqueness, one of 150 new species named by the CSIRO in the last year.”
Category is: new species extravaganza! Introducing the @RuPaul soldier fly, serving charisma and uniqueness, one of 150 new species named by @CSIRO in the last year! #csirocollections https://t.co/CMRbUODVqN pic.twitter.com/TCPNFGYUDo
— Dr Bryan Lessard (@BrytheFlyGuy) September 14, 2021
Lessard said that the choice to name the bug after drag legend RuPaul was an obvious one, as he had been watching a lot of Drag Race while examining the species, the Guardian reports.
The Drag Race host isn’t the first icon to share her name with an insect.
Dr Lessard previously named three beetles after Pokemon characters Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres and, in 2011, he gave the Scapita beyonceae fly its name after pop legend Beyoncé.
Having previously faced criticism for his quirky insect-naming conventions, Lessard defended his decision by saying that naming the bugs after pop culture figures brings them some much-needed attention.
“Many of the thirteen new soldier flies I named are from areas impacted by the Black Summer bushfires,” Lessard said in a CSIRO press release, referring to the tragic bushfires that plagued Australia between 2019 and 2020.
“These species would have burnt, and no one would have cared if I hadn’t given them a name.”
He added, “Soldier flies are valuable in the ecosystem. The larvae recycle nutrients from dead plants and animals, while adults are pollinators of some Australian plants.”
The Australian Greens party tweeted their enthusiastic approval, while also making a playful joke at RuPaul’s expense.
“We love the rainbow fly CSIRO you bunch of legends! Hopefully, unlike its namesake, this queen is anti-fracking,” referencing RuPaul’s fracking farm in Wyoming.
— Australian Greens (@Greens) September 15, 2021
This news follows just a day after RuPaul made Herstory on Tuesday September 14, winning her sixth straight Emmy for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program.
This puts the drag legend in a record-holding tie with cinematographer Donald A. Morgan for most Emmy wins by a person of colour, a record which RuPaul may break if she wins at next week’s Emmys for Outstanding Competition Program for Drag Race.
“I started in television 40 years ago on a public access station in Atlanta, Georgia. A little show called The American Music Show,” RuPaul said in her acceptance speech. “They were so kind to me to have me do my hard yards there years ago, and I want to thank them for being so kind to me and all the people in this business who’ve been kind.”
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