Science & Tech

A new beetle with bottle opener shaped penis has been named 'Carlsberg'

A new beetle with bottle opener shaped penis has been named 'Carlsberg'
Baby shark born at zoo without mother having ever being around male …
Brookfield Zoo / TMX

A newly discovered species of beetle that has sex organs shaped like a bottle opener has been named Carlsberg after the beer giant.

Many animals face an uncertain future thanks to changes to their habitats. So, when a brand new species is discovered it is an exciting thing for scientists.

It allows experts an opportunity to get creative with the name, with some previous examples including a new rainbow fly species named after RuPaul and an ancient egg-laying mammal named after Sir David Attenborough.

Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered six new South American beetle species of the rove beetle genus Loncovilius, one of which caught the eye. Because the insect’s penis was shaped like a bottle opener.

The unusual shape led to researchers giving it the very apt name – Loncovilius carlsbergi.

An image of the newly discovered species of beetle.University of Copenhagen and Natural History Museum of Denmark

Biologist Aslak Kappel Hansen, from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, explained: “This species is characterised, among other things, by the fact that the male’s sexual organ is shaped remarkably like a bottle opener.

"Therefore, we thought it is obvious to dedicate this species to the Carlsberg Foundation, which has generously supported independent research for many years.

“Their support for various projects, expeditions, or purchase of the scientific instruments at the Natural History Museum of Denmark contributes to the discovery of new species on our planet.”

Hansen explained that the beetles’ penises evolve to be differently shaped, allowing them to only reproduce with members of the same species.

“As such,” Hansen explained, “they are often the best way to identify a species. That’s why entomologists like us are always quick to examine insect genitalia when describing a species. The unique shape of each species’ genitals ensures that it can only reproduce with the same species”.

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