Washington, May 9: A newly discovered grasshopper by scientists now bears the name of Grammy-award winning singer and activist Ana Lila Downs Sanchez.
The scientists named the new species discovered on the side of a mountain road near Oaxaca, Mexico, after the Mexican-American singer as a nod to her efforts to preserve indigenous culture and penchant for wearing colorful, local costumes as part of her performances.
Derek Woller, one of the authors of the paper referring to colleague Paolo Fontana, said that it was primarily Paolo’s idea to name the grasshopper after the singer, adding that he’s a big fan of Lila Downs (her stage name).
He said that the grasshopper is so beautiful, so vibrant and colorful and when he told them all about her, her work, her colorful clothes, and that she was born in the region where they found the specimens, they thought, yeah, that’s great, let’s do it.
The grasshopper measures about an inch long on average and resembles a fiery rainbow with blue, red, yellow, orange and black markings.
Woller, Fontana, Ricardo Marino-Perez and Hojun Song are the authors of the paper. Woller is a Ph.D. candidate and Marino-Perez is a Ph.D. student in Biology Professor Song’s lab while Fontana is a researcher at the Edmund Mach Foundation in Pergine Valsugana, Italy.
There are about 9,700 known species of grasshoppers in the world. UCF houses many examples in its Bug Closet, which now also contains the Lila Downs friar grasshopper.
The first pictures of the new species make their debut in the Zootaxa journal. (ANI)