Future

Greta Thunberg Named After New Species of Beetle

The young climate change activist has been recognized for her environmental campaigning by the scientists who named it.

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has once again been praised for her work— this time, by being named after a newly-discovered species of beetle. 

Nelloptodes gretae is what Scientist Dr. Michael Darby chose when he named the beetle, citing how impressed he was with Thunberg’s work. 

The beetle, which is less than 1mm long with no eyes or antennae, was first discovered in Kenya in the 1960s by William Block, and then donated to the Natural History Museum in London in 1978. It was never given a name, which is when Dr. Darby decided to name it after Thunberg for her “outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues.” The beetle is part of a larger family called Ptiliidae, which are known for their small size. 

Thunberg has become well-known over the last year her efforts to increase awareness about the climate crisis. She has inspired climate strikes worldwide, to pressure governments to change policies that hurt the environment. She has also 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.”