RuPaul has a new achievement to add to his CV: having a (fabulous) bug named after him.
Researchers from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have announced that a soldier fly known for its bright and shimmering colors will now be known as the Opaluma Rupaul. The fly is part of the new Australian genus Opaluma, which comes from the Latin words for opal and thorn; the latter refers to the thorn under the bellies of flies, the researchers also explained.
Bryan Lessard, entomologist at CSIRO and member of National Research Collections Australia, found his inspiration watching RuPaul host his show, Drag race, he told the Guardian.
“I watched a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race looking at the species and I know that would challenge RuPaul on the runway serving fierce looks, ”Lessard said. “He’s got a shiny metallic rainbow color suit and he’s got legs for days. I think once [RuPaul] sees the fly, she’ll realize she’s pretty fierce and hopefully appreciate the name. “
RuPaul has not commented publicly on the name, but has shared the news of the nomination on his Twitter account.
The Opaluma Rupaul is 50e species that Lessard named, the first being the Scaptia beyonceae, which he named after Beyoncé in 2011, The Guardian reports.
Lessard hopes the pop culture names will help draw attention to vulnerable species, and said many of the soldier flies he recently named live in areas that have been affected by bushfires, according to CSIRO press release. CSIRO also recently named three Rare Beetles after three elusive Pokémon. characters.