Opaluma rupaul is an iridescent species of soldier fly, a species that many may not know to play an important role in the ecosystem.
“Soldier flies are valuable in the ecosystem,” Bryan Lessard, an entomologist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said in a statement. “The larvae recycle nutrients from dead plants and animals, while adults are pollinators of some Australian plants.”
While doing this, Lessard also hopes Opaluma rupaul help to get young LGBTQ people interested in science.
“As a gay scientist, it took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin in a very traditional field of science ― in entomology,” Lessard told CNN. “I think it’s really important for the next generation of LGBTQ+ scientists to know that they’re being represented in the workplace, as we give the names of legends in the community to memorable species.”
Opaluma rupaul is just one of 150 new species named by CSIRO in the last year, and as Lessard perfectly put - “Category is: new species extravaganza!”