Those of us who enjoy the creative side of taxonomic nomenclature received an early Christmas present this week with the publication of a Zootaxa paper by Paco Hita Garcia & Brian Fisher. Their new revision of Malagasy Tetramorium kelleri and tortuosum species groups contains a slate of gems such as Tetramorium nazgul and Tetramorium jedi, above. From the etymology of the Jedi ant:
This new species is named after the fictional, noble, and wise guardians of peace from the “Star Wars” universe created by George Lucas.
This Malagasy myrmicine is not the first ant with a Star Wars heritage. Ten years ago Fernando Fernández named a South American species Adelomyrmex vaderi.
source: Hita Garcia, F, Fisher, B. L. 2012. The ant genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Malagasy region—taxonomic revision of the T. kelleri and T. tortuosum species groups. Zootaxa 3592: 1-85.