New group of butterflies named after Lord of the Rings villain Sauron

The butterfly group has been named after the infamous villain from Lord of the Rings

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A new group of butterflies has been named after one of the most iconic villains in popular culture. Sauron, the evil overlord from JRR Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ books, has lent its name to the new find. 

The butterfly has been given the name ‘Saurona’ due to its striking resemblance to the dreaded ‘Eye of Sauron’ from the Lord of The Rings books and then films. The villain watches over Mordor and looms over Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee on their quest to destroy the ring. 

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Researchers at the Natural History Museum wasted no time in naming the butterfly after the iconic villain. The butterfly has bright orange hindwings and dark eyespots which has led to the name allocation.

Dr Blanca Huertas, the senior curator of butterflies at the Museum, said: “Giving these butterflies an unusual name helps to draw attention to this underappreciated group. It shows that, even among a group of very similar-looking species, you can find beauty among the dullness.

The new butterfly colours look very similar to the Eye of Sauron (Photo: Natural History Museum)The new butterfly colours look very similar to the Eye of Sauron (Photo: Natural History Museum)
The new butterfly colours look very similar to the Eye of Sauron (Photo: Natural History Museum)

“Naming a genus is not something that happens very often, and it's even more rare to be able to name two at once. It was a great privilege to do so, and now means that we can start describing new species that we have uncovered as a result of this research.”