You’ve probably heard of RuPaul – one of, if not, the most famous drag queen on the planet.

But have you heard of Opaluma rupaul? Probably not – unless you’re into solider flies.

Opaluma rupaul is a new Australian Solider fly species discovered and named by Researchers from CSRIO and their partners.

It lives in Lamington National Park in Queensland, which was significantly damaged by fire in 2019-20.

Scientists named it after famous drag queen Ru Paul because of it’s wonderful colour.

Opaluma-rupaul above view (picture: CSIRO)

The fly is part of the genus Opaluma – derived from the Latin words for opal and thorn to reflect the insects’ iridescent bodies and distinctive thorn on their bellies.

“Soldier flies are valuable in the ecosystem. The larvae recycle nutrients from dead plants and animals, while adults are pollinators of some Australian plants.” – Dr Bryan Lessard from National Research Collections Australia.

Opaluma-rupaul above view (picture: CSIRO)

It’s one of 150 new species named by CSIRO in the past 12 months.

Others include three hard-to-find beetles: Binburrum articuno, Binburrum zapdos and Binburrum moltres, named after three hard-to-find Pokémon: Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres.

“The fabulous names can attract the attention of citizen scientists and policy makers to include these species in bushfire recovery efforts.”

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