Serbian scientists name new species of beetle after Novak Djokovic
Posted June 6, 2014
Scientists in Serbia have named a new species of beetle after Novak Djokovic, the world number one tennis player who played at the 2006 European Open.
The beetle, named Novak Djokovic beetle (Notiophilus djokovici), lives in the Sava River in south Serbia.
The scientists from the Natural History Museum of the Institute of Natural History in Novi Sad, were amazed when they discovered the beetles during their work on the river’s drainage basin.
The beetles, which can grow to more than 10 mm (3/8 of an inch) in length, are black with a yellow head and light orange legs.
The scientists say the beetle’s name would make no sense without Djokovic’s name on it.
“This is an amazing discovery. It is a name that carries an incredible amount of weight,” said dr. Vladimir Markovic, a senior researcher at the National Museum.
The beetles belong to a group of beetles known as the cave beetles.
“Unlike most cave dwelling beetles which hide under rocks, the cave beetles live their entire life under the ground. They are very well camouflaged, so it was not easy to decide which species to name the beetle after. The only thing we did was look at the type of habitat to find out which beetle it belongs to,” Dr. Markovic said.
Novak Djokovic’s name is on the tail of the beetle and has been highlighted in black.
“Novak is the strongest and most powerful athlete in the men’s world tennis championship. He is the only man to have won more than 10 tennis world crowns and the only man besides Bjorn Borg to have won a Grand Slam title in four consecutive tournaments. He is the pride of the Serbian people,” said Dr. Markovic.
The project is being conducted to encourage people to take an interest in nature and in the future the insect will be on a list of protected species.
The scientists behind the project hope that the name will help preserve the species for future generations.
“The beetles, like all living organisms on earth, depend on each other, so we must encourage scientists to share