New Species of Weevil Named After Chewbacca From ‘Star Wars’

By Giuliana Manca, Epoch Times
April 28, 2016 Updated: April 28, 2016

“Star Wars” has inspired people across a number of generations. Some of those people happen to be scientists. 

An April 2016 paper in published in the zoological journal Zookeys, described four new species of Trigonopterus weevil beetles.  Three of the species discovered are T. obsidianus, T. puncticollis and T. silaliensis.

Matthew H. Van Dam of Germany’s SNSB-Zoological State Collection, Raymond Laufa of the University of Papua New Guinea, and Alexander Riedel of Natural History Museum Karlsruhe in Germany found the new species during a 2014 expedition in Papua New Guinea.

One of these beetles, however, reminded the scientists of the “walking carpet” Chewbacca. The flightless Trigonopterus chewbacca has dense scales, just like the hairy Chewbacca. 

The flightless black beetle is not the first newly discovered species to be named after Han Solo’s lovable partner-in-crime; an African bat discovered in 2013 was named Chewbacca, as well as a moth. 

This photo provided by Lucasfilm shows Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Harrison Ford as Han Solo in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," directed by J.J. Abrams. Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote the screenplay with Abrams. The movie opens in U.S. theaters on Dec. 18, 2015. (Film Frame/Lucasfilm via AP) -
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Harrison Ford as Han Solo in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J. Abrams. (Film Frame/Lucasfilm via AP)