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Greta Thunberg now has a beetle named after her
Via Instagram @gretathunberg

Greta Thunberg now has a beetle named after her

The Natural History Museum gave the tiny, blind, and wingless insect the activist’s name in honour of her work fighting for the climate

As well as starting a school strike movement, raising global awareness of the climate crisis, and scaring right-wing figures, Greta Thunberg can add having an insect named after her to her growing list of achievements.

London’s Natural History Museum has announced that it’s naming a tiny, blind, and wingless beetle after the climate activist in honour of her inspirational work fighting for the climate, citing her famous quote, “you are never too small to make a difference” as part of the inspiration.

“I am immensely impressed with the work of this young campaigner,” the museum’s scientific associate Michael Darby said, “and wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues.”

The insect – which measures less than a millimetre – was discovered in Kenya in the 1960s, and was nameless until now. Scientifically called Nelloptodes gretae, the bug was only just discovered in the Natural History Museum’s collection. According to the institution, it belongs to the Ptiliidae family of beetles, which includes some of the smallest insects in the world.

“The name of this beetle is particularly poignant,” senior curator Max Barclay explained. “It is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them, because of biodiversity loss.”

He continued: “So it is appropriate to name one of the newest discoveries after someone who has worked so hard to champion the natural world and protect vulnerable species.” 

Thunberg is currently in the US after travelling there in the summer – via boat in order to reduce her carbon emissions – to give a speech at the UN and join record-breaking climate protests in New York. Earlier this week, the teen declined an environmental award from the Nordic Council, explaining that “the climate movement does not need any more awards”, though she’s seemingly yet to comment on the beetle honour.