Taylor Swift Has a Species of Insects Named After Her

Over the past decade, Taylor Swift has become a globally-recognized superstar thanks to her music and her diehard fans. Now, the Grammy-winning artist is a part of an entirely new world: the animal kingdom.

Wearing red lipstick Taylor Swift enjoys the Brit Awards in London, England.
Taylor Swift | JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images

Taylor Swift’s career

Taylor Swift first debuted as a country singer in the mid-2000s with her breakout singles “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops On My Guitar.” Over the following decade, she became a beloved pop star with over 200 million records sold and several Grammy Awards to her name.

Swift eventually started acting in movies such as Valentine’s Day and The Giver; she would go on to appear in the 2019 movie musical Cats. Over the years, she’s also released her own concert films and a 2020 documentary Miss Americana.

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Taylor Swift has a species of millipede named after her

Swift’s legacy will long outlive her in the music world, and now she’s a part of history in the natural world as well.

Dr. David Hennen, an entomologist based in Virginia, discovered a new species of twisted-claw millipede in Tennessee, the state where Swift got her start in the music industry. An avid Swiftie, Hennen decided to name the species after the singer: Nannaria swiftae, or the Swift twisted-claw millipede. It was one of 17 new species of twisted-claw millipedes that were discovered in Appalachia, according to a study published in ZooKeys.

“This new millipede species is Nannaria swiftae: I named it after Taylor Swift!” he said in a tweet. “I’m a big fan of her music, so I wanted to show my appreciation by naming this new species from Tennessee after her. A high honor!”

Artists like Beyoncé have also inspired names in the animal kingdom

Swift is far from the first celebrity to give their name to a new species of animal. In Australia, for example, scientist Bryan Lessard discovered a horse fly that he named after Beyoncé: the Scaptia beyonceae, or Beyoncé horse fly. [It’s] the unique dense golden hairs on the fly’s abdomen that led me to name this fly in honor of the performer,” he said.

In the Caribbean, a marine biologist named Paul Sikkel named a small crustacean parasite that feeds on fish after iconic reggae singer Bob Marley, giving it the name Gnathia marleyi. “I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music,” he said.

An entomologist named Terry Erwin named a beetle after Titanic star Kate WinsletAgra katewinsletae — because of the threat that it faces as a result of deforestation. “Her character did not go down with the ship, but we will not be able to say the same for this elegant canopy species, if all the rainforest is converted to pastures.”

Even Prince Charles has become a part of the animal world. A tree frog first discovered in Ecuador in 2008 was named Hyloscirtus princecharlesi, or the Prince Charles stream tree frog, because of his commitment to rainforests.

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