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The Gary Larson Bug

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The Gary Larson BugGary Larson is a rarefied individual. Yes, he is unique in those ways we're all familiar with - he writes a hilarious and strange cartoon, The Far Side. But he's also rare for another reason. Gary Larson has a bug named after him.

Well, not just a bug, a specific insect type.

Chewing Lice.

How many cartoonists can say they have biting louse named after them?

Chewing lice spend their days living off the lifeblood of their bird or mammal host. They attach themselves, and their eggs, to the host with a glandular cement. It's really quite beautiful if you're the sort of strange and odd person that would specialize in insects for a living. And both Dale H. Clayton, from the University of Chicago, and Gary Larson, cartoonist, are such people.

So, without further ado, here is the full name of the louse: Strigiphilus garylarsoni, a type of chewing lice found only on owls. Congrats Gary, you're in good company.

Far Side Trivia: More creepy crawlies have been named after Gary Larson! Well the first isn't so creepy - it's a butterfly! A butterfly from the rainforests of Ecuador has been named in honor of Gary, called Serratoterga larsoni. Mr. Larson has also had a beetle named after him, called Garylarsonus.

You can read more about the Gary Larson bug in The Far Side 10th Anniversary Book.

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