Last year, for example, America's president, vice president and defence secretary each got a beetle (Agathidium bushi, A. cheneyi, A. rumsfeldi) courtesy of two Republican coleopterists. Admittedly, the beetles in question eat slime mould, which caused a few titters among taxonomists of a Democrat persuasion, but it is clearly an act of gross speciesism to criticise the dining habits of other organisms, so the titters were sotto voce.
The collector was Oscar Sheibel, a German who in 1933 was living in Llubljana, the capital of Slovenia. In 1933, a Slovenian biologist sold him a previously unheard-of beetle he had found in caves near the town of Celje. Sheibel named it after his hero, and anophthalmus (blind) hitleri entered the historical record.So there you have it. Admirers of Bush named a slime mold eating beetle after him and an admirer of Hitler named a blind cave dwelling beetle after him. Geesh, with friends like that who needs enemies?
Via The Economist and rose george articles