The tiny species of beetle, Nelloptodes gretae, belongs to a group of some of the smallest known free-living animals. It's named for teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who famously said: "Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn't matter what we do. But I've learned you are never too small to make a difference."
The rainbow-headed Parafimbrios lao snake, a species first discovered in Laos in 2015, was nicknamed the "Ziggy Stardust" snake for its resemblance to the colorful alter ego of musician David Bowie.
After Tom Brady and the Patriots trounced the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Zoo Atlanta announced it was naming a baby Madagascar hissing cockroach in his, um, honor. It was actually the result of a bet between Zoo Atlanta and the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island, that the loser would name a baby animal after the rival team’s quarterback.
President Donald Trump
A tiny moth with a wingspan of just 0.4 inches is the first species to be named for Donald Trump.
Yellow and white scales topping the moth’s head resemble Trump’s signature hairstyle, inspiring the name Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, wrote evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari, a researcher from Ottawa, Canada.
President Barack Obama
A new species of coral-dwelling fish discovered during a NOAA expedition to Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in June 2016 was named Tosanoides obama. Marine biologists chose the name because they thought the distinctive, colorful spot near the fish’s tail bore a striking resemblance to President Barack Obama’s campaign logo.
Mr. Obama announced the expansion the monument, a historic move that made it the world’s largest permanent marine protected area.
The small pink and yellow fish is a type of basslet which scientists say is not found anywhere else on Earth..
Jaggermeryx naida, or “Jagger’s water nymph,” is an extinct swamp animal that its discoverer, Ellen Miller of Wake Forest University, describes as “a cross between a long-legged pig and a slender hippo.” A set of eight holes on either side of its jaw held nerves, “giving it a supersensitive lower lip and snout” to help the creature forage for food according to Miller.
Mick Jagger and fellow Rolling Stones member Keith Richards also have species of trilobites named for them. Each of the Beatles do as well.
This tarantula species, Aphonopelma johnnycashi, is named for country singer Johnny Cash. The species lives near Folsom State Prison in California, which inspired Cash’s song “Folsom Prison Blues” and where he recorded a famous live album in 1968. The spider’s discoverer, Chris A. Hamilton of Auburn University, also said the spider’s black coat reminded him of Cash’s nickname, “The Man in Black.”
"Star Trek" Klingon
Klingons of “Star Trek” fame (like the one seen here with actor George Takei) inspired the name of a newly discovered species with similar facial features, the “Klingon newt” Tylototriton anguliceps.
Livyatan melvillei, a prehistoric whale, is named for "Moby Dick" author Herman Melville,.
Trypanosoma irwini, named for "The Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin, is a blood parasite found in koalas first reported in 2009.
Aptostichus angelinajolieae is a trapdoor spider named for the actress Angelina Jolie in recognition for her work with United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Aptostichus bonoi is a trapdoor spider found in California's Joshua Tree National Park. Arachnologist (who also found and named Aptostichus angelinajolieae) named the spider for U2's front man in recognition of their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree."
Aleiodes shakirae is one of 24 types of tiny wasps found in the Andes and named in May 2014. This wasp is a parasite which causes host caterpillers, "to bend and twist in an unusual way."
The 24 Aleiodes species named include a few other inspirations: A. albidactyl, A. albigena, A. albiviria, A. bimaculatus, A. cacuangoi, A. colberti, A. delicatus, A. dyeri, A. elleni, A. falloni, A. frosti, A. kingmani, A. longikeros, A. luteosicarius, A. marilynae, A. mirandae, A. napo, A. nubicola, A. onyx, A. shakirae, A. stewarti, A. townsendi, A. tzantza and A. yanayacu.
John Cleese feeds grapes to Colin, a red ruffed lemur at Bristol Zoo, July 22, 2008.
Bemaraha woolly lemur (Avahi cleesei), also known as Cleese's woolly lemur is found in Madagascar.
Cleese also has two asteroids named after him.
George W. Bush
Agathidium bushi is a beetle in the family Leiodidae. (A. atrum pictured)
Entomologists Kelly Miller and Quentin D. Wheeler named A. bushi, A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi after figures in the Bush administration. They also named A. vaderi for Darth Vader.
James Brown performs at the Olympia Hall in Paris in 1971.
Funkotriplogynium iagobadius is a mite named for James Brown in 1997. Iago badius is latin for James Brown.
In July 2014 a team discovered an aquatic mite living on reef at a depth of 200-feet off the coast of Puerto Rico. They told the AP that they named the creature Litarachna lopezae as a "small token of gratitude" for the singer's music, which they listened to as they wrote about their findings.
"The reason behind the unusual choice of name for the new species is ... simple: J.Lo's songs and videos kept the team in a continuous good mood when writing the manuscript and watching World Cup soccer 2014," said biologist Vladimir Pesic.
Sting performs during the 25th Anniversary Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, Apr. 17, 2014.
Hyla stingi, a Colombian tree frog was named for the singer in appreciation for his efforts to protect the rainforests.
Angus Young performs with AC/DC at the Laszlo Papp Arena in Budapest, Hungary, Mar. 23, 2009. The date is part of AC/DC's Black Ice world tour.
In 1998 two Australian fossils were named for the brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, Maldybulakia malcolmi and Maldybulakia angusi, respectively. The fossils animals are joint-legged and related to millipedes or horseshoe crabs.
A rare horsefly with a "golden behind" was named Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae for Beyonce Knowles by Bryan Lessard, a 24-year-old researcher at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.