As Game of Thrones has risen in popularity, so too have the unique character names featured in the series. Since the show began, Khaleesi and Arya have become popular baby and pet names. And now, the acclaimed HBO series will be forever linked to the insect world.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, Brett Ratcliffe—a University of Nebraska entomologist and professor—has discovered eight new beetle species and named three of them after Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons: Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. Officially, the beetles will be known as drogoni, rhaegali, and viserioni (the Latinized versions of the dragons’ names).
“I’ve often thought that scientists take themselves too seriously, and this is a way to circumvent that,” Ratcliffe said of his decision to pay tribute to Westeros with his latest discovery. He also acknowledged the additional recognition the new species have been receiving due to their names. “When you create names like these, you do it to gain a little bit of notoriety and bring public attention to it,” he said.
It goes without saying that Ratcliffe is a big fan of the HBO series, as well as George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Each of the beetles reportedly has a bit of orange coloring, similar to that of the dragons’ fire, making the monikers even more appropriate.