Photo provided by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on July 29, 2020 shows Daptolestes leei, a robber fly named after the late comic book creator Stan Lee. (CSIRO/Handout via Xinhua)
Tributes to superheroes are among names given to more than 150 new species discovered by Australia's national science agency.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) on Wednesday revealed that it has discovered and named 165 new species in the past year.
They include flies that were named after Marvel characters Thor, Loki, Black Widow, Deadpool and to Stan Lee, the comic book creator who died in 2018.
Juanita Rodriguez, a CSIRO bee and wasp expert, said that while naming new species had a fun side it was also vital science to understand differences between species.
"We discovered a new species of spider wasp that is only found in an area badly impacted by bushfires this summer, so now we can carefully monitor its recovery," she said in a media release.
"Spider wasps have venom that could be useful for treating Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, but most Australian spider wasp species are unknown to science."
The new species include 151 new insects, eight plants - one of which is endangered - two new fish, one mite that lives on a lizard and three sub-species of bird.
Bryan Lessard, a CSIRO entomologist, said that approximately only one quarter of Australian insects are known to science.
"We named two new species of colorful soldier flies from recently burned national parks. These species are found nowhere else in the world," he said.
"Soldier flies have an important role in nature as nutrient recyclers. Losing such species could have knock-on effects in ecosystems and food chains.
"We are interested in identifying new insect species that might be useful pollinators, nutrient recyclers or the next food source to support the agricultural sector."