Check it out: Caloplaca obamae

“I discovered the new species in 2007 while doing a survey for lichen diversity on Santa Rosa Island in California,” said Kerry Knudsen, the lichen curator in the UCR Herbarium. “I named it Caloplaca obamae to show my appreciation for the president’s support of science and science education.”

It’s a lichen


  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    April 15, 2009

    Better be careful what you name after the current president. They had to recall the Chia pets that were named after him.

  2. #2 Lilian Nattel
    April 15, 2009

    I think there’s something magical about lichen. There is such a range of colour and shape.

  3. #3 Norris
    April 15, 2009

    I have been wondering how the inevitable researcher would decline his name. Is C. obamae not feminine? I don’t think there’s a provision in the Zoological Code to allow an author to declare a possessive name ending in -ae to be masculine (although Latin had such masculine -a words like agricola). I don’t know what the Botanical Code says. I’m rather certain any animals named after Obama will have to be obamai (unless they’re named after Michelle).