Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Feb 11th 2008 3:00PM by James Sullivan
But ASU's Quentin Wheeler definitely intended the naming of his latest find as a form (however peculiar) of sincere appreciation. At a recent Roy Orbison tribute at the university, the entomologist presented Barbara Orbison, the widow of the late, majestically downhearted "Big O," with a Warhol-style print of the newly discovered whirligig beetle of India. Wheeler and his colleagues named the insect Orectochilus orbisonorum after the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and his wife.
The water beetle, called a whirligig for its habit of moving in circles when alarmed ('Running Scared'?), was named for the singer because its white underbelly gives it an appearance of wearing a tuxedo. Orbison was famously partial to wearing black. The bug also has "divided" eyes that allow it to see above and below water simultaneously, giving it an appearance of having four eyes.
"I have never seen an honor like that," said Mrs. Orbison, diplomatically.