Hemsworth’s new surprising top honour
We always knew Chris Hemsworth was a pretty fly guy, and now it's official.
CSIRO scientists have honoured the celebrated Aussie actor with a new species of fly named after his most famous role, Thor.
Daptolestes bronteflavus, meaning blond thunder, is native to the Miena region of central Tasmania, and a new addition to the staggering 30,000 unique species of fly in Australia.
The CSIRO has identified 165 Australian animal species over the past 12 months, including four other flies named in honour of Marvel characters.
Humorolethalis sergius, from the Latin words for wet or moist, and dead, was named after Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool character, and shares his vivid red and black costume markings.
Daptolestes feminategus, meaning woman wearing leather, was a nod to Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, and Daptolestes illusiolautus, meaning elegant deception, was in honour of Thor's villainous brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston.
The team also named another fly after Marvel founder Stan Lee, on account of the insect's distinctive facial markings, which look like sunglasses and a white moustache.
CSIRO entomologist Dr Bryan Lessard told News Corp that flies were a "hyper diverse group", with 160,000 known species in the world. Ten per cent of all animals were flies, he said.
While they were frequently dismissed as pests, flies were important in the ecosystem and their role in pollinating agricultural cops such as mangoes and avocadoes was just beginning to be appreciated, Dr Lessard said.
"These Marvel flies, they are the world's mightiest predators," he said.
"They fly around and eat other insects. They're really important in maintaining the food chain."
Identifying new species of animals was the first step in understanding the role they played and their potential for helping humanity, he said.
The venom from several newly discovered species of spider wasp was being studied for possible use as treatments against Alzheimer's and epilepsy, he revealed.
"These species have evolved after millions of years and they're quite unique and they're found nowhere else in the world," Dr Lessard said.
While the CSIRO was yet to inform Hemsworth of his new insectoid honour, Dr Lessard said that after he named a species of fly in honour of Beyonce a few years back, the news went viral around the world and was even referenced by Ellen DeGeneres in one of her monologues.
"I was gobsmacked," he said.
"Having a celebrity talk about your research like that is pretty cool."
Originally published as Hemsworth's new surprising top honour