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Leonardo DiCaprio awarded an impressive insect honor

Citizen scientists name a newly discovered Malaysian water beetle species after the actor in honor of his environmental activism.


Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi is named in honor of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

ZooKeys Journal

Meet Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi.

This new water beetle was discovered during a trip by ecotourists working alongside scientists from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and a Dutch company called Taxon Expeditions, to the Maliau Basin on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. 

The 3mm-long black insect's scientific name is chosen by Maliau Basin Studies Centre members to honor of the French beetle expert Antoine Henri Grouvelle (1843–1917) and the actor Leonardo DiCaprio who is best known for his films Titanic, The Great Gatsby, Inception and most recently, The Revenant.

But the new beetle isn't named after DiCaprio for his acting, but for his wildlife charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

The tribute seems fitting as it also marks the 20th anniversary of the celebrity's foundation that supports various projects dedicated to the preservation of biodiversity. 

The new water beetle was introduced in a research article published Monday in the science journal ZooKeys by Hendrik Freitag and Clister V. Pangantihon from the School of Science & Engineering in Quezon City, Philippines and Iva Njunjic from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, Netherlands.

The study also features two other newly-discovered beetles called G. andrekuipersi after the Dutch astronaut and entomological ambassador Andre Kuipers and G. questi after the popular science magazine Quest