News & Opinion | March 8, 2019 3:30 pm

New Species of Beetle Discovered, Named After “Star Wars” Characters

Others have been named after scientists.

beetles beetle rainforests
Over 100 new beetles were discovered in Indonesian rainforests. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
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Yoda is now not only a legendary Star Wars character, he’s also a newly discovered shiny green beetle- along with over 100 other insects.

Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia, is home to not only Trigonopterus yoda but a host of other newly discovered insects that have been named after scientists like Charles Darwin, James Watson, and Francis Crick.

“Our survey is not yet complete and possibly we have just scratched the surface,” Raden Pramesa Narakusumo, a curator of beetles at the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense’s Indonesian Research Center for Biology, told the BBC.

The island where the new bugs were discovered is covered by lowland rainforests and also host to a variety of exotic animals like birds and monkeys.

Dr. Alexander Riedel, an entomologist at the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany, says the decline of insects in the tropics is due to the destruction of the rainforest. Meanwhile the reduction in insect numbers across Europe is caused by “intense agriculture and insecticide.”

Scientists used DNA sequencing to identify the beetles which is something rarely available to Indonesia researchers.