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In news that almost certainly made Thom Yorke sit back from his 19th-century novel, look up at the ceiling, and sigh at the ironic existential situation that is contemporary life, some biologists have decided to honor his band with the ultimate tribute: naming an insect after the group. As Pitchfork reports, members of the Smithsonian Institution’s Ant Lab, which is a very real lab that definitely doesn‘t get made fun of by the other labs at the Smithsonian, recently uncovered a new species of ant in the Venezuelan Amazon.

Sericomyrmex radioheadi are fungus-farming ants, one of three new species of the genus related to the more common leaf-cutter ants, a genus probably well-known for staying in its room and writing depressing poetry while blasting Insomniac on repeat. As science news site Phys.org notes, leaf-cutter ants are “well-studied, photogenic model organisms that you simply cannot avoid if you take a trip to the Neotropics.” Indeed, who among us hasn’t been planning their trip to the Neotropics, only to remember, “God, I’m going to run into some sericomyrmex, aren’t I? Better pack some tchotchkes as gifts.”


The researchers say they wanted to highlight and reward the band’s efforts at conservation. “We wanted to honor their music,” Ana Ješovnik, co-author of the study, says, politely refraining from adding that The King Of Limbs could’ve been better. “But more importantly, we wanted to acknowledge the conservation efforts of the band members, especially in raising climate-change awareness.” Not since The Far Side creator Gary Larson was fêted with a louse named after him has there been such a harmonious match of insect and source of its name—icy, emotionally fragile art-rock being the music of choice for members of the Formicidae family.

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