Chewbacca is not just a Star Wars character's name anymore!

In conclusion, the authors note that the beetle genus must have colonised New Britain at least four times in the past.

Updated: Apr 27, 2016, 23:45 PM IST
Chewbacca is not just a Star Wars character's name anymore!
(Image for representational purposes only)

Washington D.C: Star Wars, the popular film franchise, has been taking the world by storm ever since its first release, back in the year 1977.

Now, it has inspired the name of the new species of flightless beetles!

This new species of flightless beetles was discovered in Papua New Guinea's New Britain and has been named after the famous fictional Star Wars character, Chewbacca.

Trigonopterus chewbacca, as it has been named, was only one out of the four black new weevil beetles that were found by researchers during their expedition, however, it stood out with its queer scales, which, somehow, made them think of Han Solo's loyal companion.

Unlike its sci-fi namesake, the Chewbacca beetle cannot rely on its measurements to scare other possibly malevolent species off. It only measures between 2.78 and 3.13 mm. Dissimilar again, is its body, which is black and rhomboid-shaped, while its legs and antenna appear rusty. What likens the beetle to "Chewie", however, is its distinctively dense scales, covering its head and legs.

In conclusion, the authors note that the beetle genus must have colonised New Britain at least four times in the past. "Given the size, mountainous topography and tropical vegetation of New Britain, it is likely that Trigonopterus has undergone some local speciation on the island, but this possibility requires further investigation," they say.

The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys. 

(With ANI inputs)