The world’s smallest species of fly has been discovered in the Brazilian Amazon, but scientists have named it after a famously huge actor — Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The fly’s official designation is Megapropodiphora arnoldi. It measures less than half a millimeter long, but researchers still drew a distinct comparison to the former Mr. Olympia. The fly has enormous front legs that look like a pair of muscular arms. Beside a vintage photo of “The Governator” in his prime, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Megapropodiphora arnoldi was named by Dr. Brian Brown, an entomologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
“As soon as I saw those bulging legs, I knew I had to name this one after Arnold,” he told DailyMail. “Not only is he a major cultural icon and an important person in the political realm, his autobiography gave me some hope that I could improve my body as a skinny teenager.”
Dr. Brown added that the fly’s discovery is huge for his field, and almost didn’t happen. “It is known only from one female specimen that we almost overlooked because it is so incredibly small,” he said.
The tiny fly lays its eggs inside of ants and termites. When the larvae hatch, they devour their hosts from the inside out. Oddly, this sounds pretty similar to the hatching habits of a certain alien that once fought the Predator, which Schwarzenegger famously vanquished at the height of his action hero glory.
The newly discovered Megapropodiphora arnoldi measures just 0.395 millimeters long. It breaks the record for smallest fly discovered by man by just five hundredths of a millimeter. Incidentally, the previous record holder, a species of of phorid fly, was also discovered by Dr. Brown. He found it in Thailand in 2012, though he said its small legs and stubby wings didn’t warrant the “arnoldi” title.
Schwarzenegger has been working hard for a 70-year-old. The former Governor of California has been all over Twitter, promoting environmental efforts and taking an active part in political conversations in his home country of Austria.
He’ll be returning to theaters soon as well. He’s expected to appear in a 2019 reboot of the Terminator franchise, and Sylvester Stallone has teased the possibility of an Expendables 4 movie in production.