The newly named Baracktrema obamai is the second parasite named for the 44th president, following a parasitic hairworm found in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya in 2012.
The new parasite was discovered by biologist Thomas Platt last year. The parasite is a blood fluke, a tiny flatworm that lives in the blood vessels of the lungs of its hosts, Malaysian freshwater turtles. Its presence can cause mild inflammation and even paralysis or death to its host.
In addition to the two parasites, Obama has loaned his name to a fish from Tennessee Etheostoma obama, extinct lizard Obamadon gracilis, bird Nystalus obamai and trapdoor spider Aptostichus barackobamai.
Obama's name has also been used for a Californian lichen, named in 2008, “for the president's support of science and science education,” according to news website Science Daily.
As a result, the poor beetle was on the verge of extinction when neo-Nazis from all over the world were eager to aquite the beetle as a souvenir. At present, the beetle is protected by law in Slovenia and it is prohibited to catch it.
George Bush Jr., Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Darth Vader
Each of the four famous people became “godfathers” in 2005 at the behest of biologists Kelly Miller and Quentin Wheeler to one of the small beetles’ genus Agathidium.
There are now Agathidium bushi, Agathidium cheneyi, Agathidium rumsfeldi and Agathidium vaderi. According to Wheeler, George Bush Jr. called him with words of gratitude on behalf of himself, Don and Dick for the honor.
The reaction of Darth Vader [character from Star Wars] was not reported!
Only one animal was named after Lenin, an animal which has long gone extinct. Discovered in 2013, in the Ulyanovsk region, the fossil of the ichthyosaur was named Leninia stellans.
The water predator was seven-meters in length and had huge eyes 20 centimeters in diameter!
The first black president of South Africa can compete for the number of namesakes in the animal world with his American counterpart.
Marine biologists Angel Vlades and Terry Gosliner named a sea slug Mandelia Micocornata in 1999. The two are quoted as saying: “It is regarded as something of an honor to have a species of organism named after you. To have a genus named after you is even more of an honor because new genera are less often named than new species. However, an even greater honor is to have a family named after you because new families are rarely created.”
Another marine crustacean, Munidopsis mandela and fossil woodpecker Australopicus nelsonmandelai were also named after the great African leader.
Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter
Each of the American leaders received a perch, not in the literal sense of course, but in recognition of their merits for wildlife conservation in America.
Perch is a common name for fish of the genus Perca, freshwater gamefish belonging to the family Percidae.
Etheostoma clinton lives in Clinton’s native state of Arkansas and Etheostoma jimmycarter and Etheostoma gore reside in Kentucky and Tennessee respectively.
In honor of the heir to the British crown, in 2012 an extremely rare Ecuadorian frog, Hyloscirtus princecharlesi, was named after Prince Charles. The animal has been scantily studied so far and only three males and one tadpole of the species have been caught.