China's new species of Nemoura named after actors Hu Ge, Louis Koo Tin-lok
Chinese actors Hu Ge (R) and Louis Koo Tin-lok. /CFP

Chinese actors Hu Ge (R) and Louis Koo Tin-lok. /CFP

A new species of Nemouridae discovered in southwestern China has been named after Chinese actors Hu Ge and Louis Koo Tin-lok for their contributions to education and environmental protection, according to an academic article published in the International Journal of Ecology.

In the article, titled "A New Species of Nemoura (Plecoptera: Nemouridae) from Sichuan Province, China," published on February 5, 2021, the species is officially named Nemoura hugekootinlokorum. The specific name is treated as a noun in the genitive plural case following Article 31.1.2 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th edition), it said.

It revealed that the species is named in honor of the two renowned actors "as an appreciation for their contribution to elementary education and environmental preservation in the mountainous areas of western China."

A new species of Nemouridae has been named Nemoura hugekootinlokorum. /International Journal of Ecology

A new species of Nemouridae has been named Nemoura hugekootinlokorum. /International Journal of Ecology

Hu Ge, 38, is well-known for his portrayals in television dramas like "Chinese Paladin" and "Nirvana in Fire," and the film "The Wild Goose Lake." According to media reports, since 2005, he has remained involved in charity activities, providing donations to earthquake-stricken Wenchuan, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, and the establishment of a hope primary school in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

In June 2013, he was invited to be the image ambassador and volunteer representative for the protection of bar-headed goose by Greenriver, a non-government environmental protection organization, and undertook an environmental advocacy tour starting from Golmud City to the source of the Yangtze River in northwest China's Qinghai Province. Later, he, as a common volunteer, visited Qinghai multiple times to raise awareness about environmental protection.

Also lauded for his eleemosynary endeavors, 50-year-old Louis Koo's representative works include TV drama "The Condor Heroes 95" and films "Paradox," "Protégé" and "Drug War."

He visited earthquake-convulsed Wenchuan as the UNICEF Ambassador in 2008 and 2009 and set up his charity foundation. Although he seldom talked about his charitable deeds publicly, reports say that he has donated to build a number of primary schools, clinics, and wells in western China's Guizhou, Gansu provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Naming new species after popular personalities is not an unconventional practice internationally. Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi, a species of riffle beetle, and Spintharus leonardodicaprioi, a species of theridiid spider, are both named after American actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio; Agra katewinsletae, a species of carabid beetle, is named after English actress Kate Winslet. 

The International Journal of Ecology was founded in 2012 and is sponsored by Hans Publishers. It is an international Chinese journal focusing on the latest developments in the field of ecology, and is on the core list of journal publications covered by the Research Center for Chinese Science Evaluation (RCCSE).

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