Scientists Name Insect Species After Sen. Lamar Alexander

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Scientists have named a species of insect after Senator Lamar Alexander in appreciation of the Republican's support for research funding.

At the dedication of the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this week, Alexander was presented with a photo of an insect that was first discovered in the Smokies.

Earnest Bernard, chairman of Discover Life in America, says the new species has been given the Latin name for "Lamar Alexander springtail."

Bernard says the insect has a checkerboard coloration that resembles Alexander's trademark plaid shirts that he wore while running for governor and president.

The new 15,000-square-foot facility will provide office and work space for about 25 staff members who are engaged in air quality monitoring, vegetation management, and inventory and monitoring of the park's plants, animals and insects.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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