Prince Charles tree frog joins critters with claim to fame
A rare species of tree frog now has royal connections. The Prince of Wales said he is "touched" to have a new namesake, the Prince Charles stream tree frog, or Hyloscirtus princecharlesi.
The brown and orange amphibian was first spotted by Dr. Luis A. Coloma among other specimens collected for a museum in 2008.
The Ecuadorian scientist was part of an expedition that later found a few living members of the species in the Cotacachi-Cayapas National Park in Ecuador.
Now two young tree frogs are being raised as part of the Amphibian Ark project, which aims to conserve amphibian populations around the world.
The species was named after the Queen's eldest son to thank him for his efforts to conserve rainforest habitat.
"It's fairly unusual to name a new species after someone but this is seen as something special in honour of the prince," said a spokesperson for the conservation group, adding that the royal frog is in dire straits.
"It is endangered and needs to be protected in the wild, its rainforest habitat is under threat due to the impact of farming."
Dr. Coloma met with the Prince of Wales at a children's environmental workshop that the prince was hosting at his Gloucestershire home.
Charles was presented with a brown and orange replica of the frog and a commemorative gold medal on Thursday.
"I'm very touched. It's very nice," said Charles. "I have a lump in my throat, it must be a frog."
He also said that he "will battle even harder" to safeguard the habitat of his new namesake.
Although the move may be relatively uncommon, Hyloscirtus princecharlesi is far from the only critter with a claim to fame. The Australian horse fly species Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae, for instance, was named for singer Beyonce Knowles because of its gold-hued lower abdomen. And the trapdoor spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi was named after Canadian rocker Neil Young.
If you could name a new species after a famous person or a historical figure, which two would you pair and why? Would you like to have a creature named after you? If so, which one?
Let us know in the comments below.
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