New Weevil Named After Chewbacca

Posted on April 27, 2016

Trigonopterus chewbacca

Scientists have named a newly discovered weevil species after Chewbacca from Star Wars. The new beetle was one of four new flightless black weevil species discovered in New Britain, Papau New Guinea. The curious scales on the weevil made the scientists think of Chewbacca.

The beetle's scientific name is Trigonopterus chewbacca. The other new beetles include Trigonopterus obsidianus, Trigonopterus puncticollis and Trigonopterus silaliensis.

The scientists found the beetles after spending ten days sifting through leaf litter and foliage. The Chewbacca beetle measures between 2.78 and 3.13 mm. The beetle's body is black and rhomoid shaped with rust colored antennae.

The author say in a release, "Given the size, mountainous topography and tropical vegetation of New Britain, it is likely that Trigonopterus has undergone some local speciation on the island, but this possibility requires further investigation."

A research paper on the newly discovered beetles was published here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Photo: Dr. Alexander Riedel