New beetle species named after former Californian governor
Jerry Brown stepped down from government in 2019
Former Californian governor Jerry Brown has been honored with the latest tribute. Scientists have named a rare species of beetle in his honour.
After discovering one at Brown's ranch, Bembidion brownorum was last observed in 1966, but it wasn't identified or further characterised until a specimen was discovered on Brown's property in Colusa County, roughly an hour's drive northwest of Sacramento.
Brown and teeny, the beetle measures about 5 millimetres (0.20 inch) in length, which is nevertheless longer than other Bembidion beetles.
According to UC Berkeley, when magnified, "it sparkles with a green and gold metallic glitter."
Brown, who stepped down from government in 2019, resides on property that has been in his family's possession since the 1860s in California's inner coastal mountain range.
He has offered his property as a meeting space for the California Native Plant Society, entomologist, and forestry and fire experts.
UC Berkeley entomologist Kipling Will has been sampling insects at the 2,500-acre (1,012-hectare) ranch for more than two years.
On July 1, 2021, he found an unfamiliar beetle and called up an expert, David Maddison at Oregon State University, to help identify it, UC Berkeley said.
They determined that it was a species that hadn't been previously named or described. Will later found 21 specimens in museums throughout California, although they may have been unlabeled or misidentified, UC Berkeley said.
The species probably was rarely spotted because it probably has been rapidly declining as its habitat is destroyed by urbanization and agricultural development, Will said. The beetle was named in honor of Brown and his wife, Anne Brown.