Pokemon Inspired Ant Species Name Wanted by Researchers

Researchers have called on the internet to help it decide on a Pokemon inspired ant species name. An international team of scientists has opened up a poll with the aim of letting the internet decide on what the five new species of ants will be called. The boffins over at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, who study ant evolution, aren’t clued up on Pokemon, and hope the internet will help to name them.

The scientists wrote about the species of ants, on a website called Pokemoncontest.com, to give a bit more background on what they are. The ants in question are endemic in the island of Fiji, and are known as trapjaw ants. Dr. Eli Sarnat and Dr. Evan Economo discovered these insects during one expedition to survey the insect wildlife.

Six new species have been discovered in total, but the researchers have suggested that one should be named after Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri. Tajiri was a well known insect aficionado, and may not have invented Pokemon if not for his interest in bugs as a child.

The researchers revealed, in an FAQ section, that this isn’t the first time Pokemon has been used to name new scientific discoveries. Some have included a gene associated with cancer being dubbed “Pokemon” in 2005, a flying reptile fossil receiving the name Aerodactyl, and a bee native to South American nation Chile being named after Charizard. The scientists hope that internet users will play along, and help to make more history with this latest Pokemon inspired plea.

There are a number of bug Pokemon whose names are still present in the poll, which can be voted on here. Curiously, there are also Pokemon that don’t resemble bugs in the slightest, such as Pikachu, Mewtwo and Charizard, who can be voted for too.