Gretae is a Newly Discovered Smallest Beetle

Gretae is a Newly Discovered Smallest Beetle
Nelloptodes Gretae, named after the Swedish Greta Thunberg, is less than a millimeter in length © Michael Darby


The 16-year-old Greta Thunberg is honored  by giving a new type of beetle after her name.  The newly discovered Nelloptodes Gretae is a kind of a beetle which belongs to a group of the some of the smallest free-living insects.

Source: Wikipedia ,Ptiliidae

This newly discovered beetle is a part of the family called Ptiliidae.

We do not have full information about this kind of beetles yet. These can be termed as dwarfs compared to another unicellular organism. Found in the leaf litter and soil, these beetles feed on fungal hyphae and spores.

Nelloptodes Gretae

Michael Darby is a Scientific Associate who named the newly discovered after Greta. Michael said “‘The family that I work on are some of the smallest known free-living creatures,’ explains Michael. ‘They are not parasitic and are not living inside other creatures. Few of them measure more than a millimeter long”. He added “I suspect that this could very well be the first time a species has been named after Greta. I don’t know of any other beetle named after her, that’s for sure”.

William Brock, an entomologist, collected the soil samples from around east Africa between 1964-1965. As the sample was stored in a museum, Michael discovered this new smallest beetle using a high powered microscope. He likewise found another sort and eight other new types of Ptiliidae from the same sample.

The newfound Nelloptodes Gretae are tiny to the point that they are simply 0.79 millimeters.They are pale yellow and gold color, these have no eyes or wings.

Michael said that her wife described them as  vivified full stops. But actually many are a whole lot smaller than a full stop, he added. “I’d also like to stress that I’ve not named this species after Greta because it is small, it’s just that this is the group that I work on” he continues.

As Greta, herself said “‘Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do.

‘But I’ve learned you are never too small to make a difference.”

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