Scientists have named a newly discovered species of ground beetle (Carabidae) after famed author and comics writer Neil Gaiman.
— Giorgi Chaladze (@giorgi_chaladze) October 3, 2017
A paper detailing the finding was published by Giorgi Chaladze, Levan, Kalatozishvili, Zurab Janiashvili and Giorgi Bakuradze through Ilia State University's Institute of Ecology in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The group has named the beetle Pterostichus neilgaimani, which fits under the subgenus Aphaonus Reitter. The new species is said to be so rare that only two specimen were found inside a sacred grove just outside the village of Khevsha, Georgia, within the Caucasus region of Eurasia.
The region's history of tree worshiping as part of pre-Christian civilization, and subsequent strict conservation practices were cited as the reasons this discovery could be made. The grove likely had been untouched for centuries, preserving what the scientists refer to as "primeval" conditions. There could be any number of unknown species still in the area.
These scientists are clearly fans of Gaiman's work, because they dedicated the finding to him "for bringing back what has been forgotten." This sentiment represents a chief theme among many of Gaiman's works, perhaps most famously within the 2001 novel American Gods, which has since been adapted into a successful television series on Starz.