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‘Nelloptodes gretae’, to honour Greta Thunberg

‘Nelloptodes gretae’, to honour Greta Thunberg

A tiny species of beetle which was discovered more than 50 years ago has been named after environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

Key Point:


  • Scientists and researchers at the Natural History Museum in London have officially called the insect Nelloptodes gretae to honour the 16-year-old Swedish activist’s “outstanding contribution” in raising global awareness of climate change.


About Nelloptodes gretae:


  • Nelloptodes gretae is an arthropod, which has no eyes or wings but a small pit between where the eyes should have been. It is a tiny species of beetle which is pale yellow and gold, with less than 1mm long.
  • It belongs to Ptiliidae family, which is made up of some of the world’s smallest beetles.
  • This beetle was first found in the year 1965 by a British naturalist Dr William C Block in Nairobi, Kenya. The samples taken in Kenya are stored in the British Natural History Museum.
  • In biological terms the name comprises of two words- one for genus and second for species viz., the species name ‘gretae’ derives from Greta, the genus Nelloptodes too is a new genus.
  • On traditional basis, it is the species name that scientists coin to honour a prominent personality.


About Greta Thunberg:

  • Greta Thunberg is a Swedish teenage climate activist and a fierce campaigner who began protesting outside Swedish parliament in August 2018. She skipped school every Friday demanding the Swedish government take more severe action to tackle the climate crisis. Very soon, her demand was joined by other students. Later she announced that she would take a year off school to pursue her campaigning.
  • She is now a figurehead for many young climate activists internationally. ‘Fridays for Future’ movement has spread globally where the students around the world strike from school to participate in climate protests. The schools' strikes have become a mass movement with more than 1 million young people attending from all over the world and demonstrations in more than 100 countries.


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