Australia has its own Night King and it's harmless to humans

The Night King and the Paramonovius nightking.
The Night King and the Paramonovius nightking. Photo credit: HBO/CSIRO

Game of Thrones' Night King was scary enough, but the Australian version is even more terrifying - it can fly.

Researchers across the ditch have named a newly discovered species of bee fly after the hit HBO show's undead villain.

Paramonovius nightking earned its headline-grabbing name thanks to its "crown of spine-like hairs" and the fact it "reigns in winter", having never been seen in the hot Aussie summer.

"It has a serious side, but naming new species is the most fun a taxonomist can have," said entomologist Bryan Lessard at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

"Xuankun Li, who named the bee fly Paramonovius nightking, is a PhD student at CSIRO and a huge fan of Game of Thrones, proving that inspiration for new species names can come from anywhere."

But before you reach for your Arya Stark-branded fly spray, consider this: unlike its namesake - and many Australian bugs - Paramonovius nightking is totally harmless to humans. 

Paramonovius nightking, first spotted in 2018, is among 230 new Australian species that have been given names in the past year, CSIRO said in a statement on Monday.

"Never upset a taxonomist, or there might soon be a new dung beetle bearing your name," the federal agency warned.



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