HOT news from the insect community: A new species of beetle has been discovered and named after junior world leader Greta Thunberg.
Nelloptodes gretae would appear to have little in common with the 16-year-old climate change campaigner in that it is less than a millimetre long and has no eyes to see the world collapsing around it. It does, however, have long antennae which could conceivably resemble a pair of pigtails.
The specimen (the beetle, not St Greta), was collected in Kenya in 1965 by a British naturalist, Dr William C Block.
His samples of soil and leaf litter were donated to the Natural History Museum in 1978 and the minute beetle was spotted by sharp-eyed scientific associate Dr Michael Darby during a recent analysis.
He declared: ‘I chose this name as I am immensely impressed with the work of this young campaigner and wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues.’
However, in an emotionally charged interview with TCW last night, Nelloptodes gretae refused to accept its new title. ‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,’ it declared.
‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
‘Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to turn over a new leaf.’