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Praying mantis species named after US Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attends President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Image copyright Chip Somodevilla
Image caption Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman in history to be appointed to the high court in the US

Ruth Bader Ginsburg already has a long list of accomplishments.

Now the US Supreme Court Justice can count having a praying mantis named after her among them.

Researchers at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History said they named the insect ilomantis ginsburgae in recognition of Justice Ginsburg's efforts on gender equality.

Scientists used the genitals of female praying mantises for the first time to identify the new species.

Though the species is similar to other leaf-dwelling praying mantises, researchers say it bears a neck plate that is similar to the jabot, or the decorative neck accessory, that Justice Ginsburg is often seen wearing.

Image copyright Rick Wherley/Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Image caption The insect's neck plate apparently resembles the jabot, or neck accessory Ruth Bader Ginsburg often wears.
Image copyright Rick Wherley/Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Image caption Scientists analysed the female genitals of praying mantises to identify the new species

The species was identified using a specimen collected in Madagascar in 1967, which is currently housed at the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

"This research establishes the validity of using female specimens in the classification of praying mantises," said Sydney Brannoch, the lead author of the study.

"It is my hope that our work not only sets a precedent in taxonomy but also underscores the need for scientists to investigate and equally consider both sexes in other scientific investigations."

Justice Ginsburg is the second woman in history nominated to the US Supreme Court and continues to serve as one of three women on it today.

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