Faced with 101 new beetle species that needed naming, biologists turned to the phone book for inspiration.

German scientists who were struggling to name all the new weevil species in Papua New Guinea reached for the phone book for 10 of their discoveries.

They had found a shortcut for working out all the new species by using DNA and an online database to catalogue them, but it meant they suddenly had over a hundred beetles to name.

Local names were conferred on several beetles found in the Papua New Guinean rainforest, which is teeming with wildlife.

People with the family name Morea, found on page 275 of the 2010 Papua New Guinea Telephone Directory, are one of the Guineans immortalised by a small shiny beetle called Trigonopterus moreaorum.

A black bug called the Trigonopterus kanawiorum honours the Kanawi family, found on page 236.

The majority of weevils feed exclusively on plants and less than 6 milimetres long. 

Alexander Riedel of the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe and Michael Balke of the State Zoological Collection in Munich named the insects.

Riedel explained that there was simply not the time to think of names.

He said: ‘More than 100 species were brought to the light of science and public attention right now — about five times faster than possible with traditional techniques’ 

The traditional approach for naming species is using structural descriptions.

It would have taken the scientists a very long time to name all of these beetles, given the degree of similarity among the insects.

Riedel said that because of forests disappearing at such a rapid rate that time was of the essence in identifying them all

A large proportion of this undiscovered life on earth is formed by insects, especially beetles.

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk