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Bug researchers name new cockroach species after a Pokémon

Critter-cal discovery.

A pair of entomologists (scientists who study bugs) have named a new species of cockroach they discovered after the Bug and Fighting type Pokémon Pheromosa.

The new species is native to Singapore, and its discovery was reported on by Singapore broadsheet The Straits Times.

The cockroach was first observed in 2016, when it was collected in a survey at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. After dissecting some specimens and comparing them to known species of cockroaches, the cockroach has been determined to be a new species never recorded before.

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The findings were published in The Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology last month, co-authored by Foo Maosheng Cristian C. Lucanas. In it, they named the new species Nocticola pheromosa - Nocticola being the name of the genus the species belongs to.

Both Lucanas and Foo are Pokémon fans, which prompted them to name the species after a Pokémon inspired by cockroaches. Foo said the new species has some similarities to the fictional Pheromosa, such as its "long antenna, wings that mimic a hood, and long slender legs", reported The Straits Times.

Foo also told The Straits Times he's lovingly known as the "bug catcher" among his peers and students at the National University of Singapore due to his enthusiasm for bugs and Pokémon alike. “I’m like one of those Bug type trainers (in Pokémon) as I go to different places to find out more about what insects we have," Foo said.

A side-by-side comparison of Nocticola pheromosa and the Pokémon Pheromosa
Image credit: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum and The Pokémon Company

Pheromosa was introduced in Generation 7 of Pokémon, which consists of the Sun and Moon games and their respective Ultra versions. Pheromosa is an Ultra Beast, meaning it's an extradimensional Pokémon and is quite powerful. Let's hope Nocticola pheromosa is not as violent as its game counterpart...