Home » Australian ant with ghostly features named after Lord Voldemort

Australian ant with ghostly features named after Lord Voldemort

There are other creatures that have been named after Harry Potter characters, including a wasp named after Lucius Malfoy, the father of Potter’s nemesis, and a crab that was named after Severus Snape.

The new species of ant is highly elusive – it was only found when scientists drilled an 80ft deep hole into the ground.

Ants from the genus Leptanilla are very rare in Australia. This is only the second time they have been found.

“We hardly encounter them, even as experienced myrmecologists, or ant scientists,” said Dr Wong.

Each year, hundreds of species of fish, mammals, birds and insects are given names by scientists.

Last year, a snake found by explorers in the mountains of Peru was named after Harrison Ford, in recognition of his work as an environmental advocate and role as vice chairman of Conservation International.

In 2009, a snail found in the tropics of northern Queensland was named Crikey steveirwini, after Steve Irwin, the late crocodile hunter and wildlife presenter. Its shell has an overall khaki appearance, which inspired the connection to Irwin.

A tree frog that was discovered in Ecuador in 2008 was named Hyloscirtus princecharlesi after the then Prince Charles, in honour of his work to protect rainforests.

A rare species of horse fly found in Queensland was named Scaptia beyonceae, after the singer Beyonce. Bryan Lessard, the scientist who chose the name, said that it was “the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen that led me to name this fly in honour of the performer”.