A Filipino Scientist Discovered a New Cockroach. He Named It After a Pokemon


A Filipino-led team of scientists has discovered a new species of cockroach at the Bukit Timah nature reserve in Singapore and aptly named it after a Pokemon. Nocticola pheromosa is a new species of cockroach discovered by Cristian C. Lucañas, an entomologist at the University of the Philippines Los Baños Museum of Natural History and lead author of the study, and Singaporean entomologist Foo Maosheng.

According to a study published by Lucañas and Foo, the inspiration for the name was the Pokemon Pheromosa, whose white appearance may have been inspired by the American cockroach that has recently molted.


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Nocticola pheromosa, a Cockroach Named After a Pokemon

Photo by Cristian C. Lucañas, Foo Maosheng.

“There are some similarities between Pheromosa and the delicate cockroach that we found, such as having a long antenna, wings that mimic a hood and long slender legs,” Foo told the Straits Times. “Both (Lucañas) and I are Pokemon fans, so we thought, why not name it after a Pokemon inspired by a cockroach,” Foo added. 


Compared to house cockroaches, N. pheromosa has a more slender and delicate body. “This represents the nineth known fully-winged species of the genus,” wrote the authors.  

The discovery was published in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology on February 27, 2023. It is the first time a cockroach of the genus Nocticola has been documented in Singapore, but the two entomologists became curious when a then-unknown male species of the cockroach was found in Bukit Timah nature reserve in 2016. Photos of the male species were uploaded on the website Biodiversity of Singapore, which caught the attention of the Lucañas, who promptly contacted Foo and collaborated with Foo. It was Lucañas who dissected the cockroach and published the study.  


Pheromosa Pokemon

Photo by Pokemon.

According to the Pokedex, Pheromosa is “a life-form that lives in another world, its body is thin and supple, but it also possesses great power.” It is a bug-type Pokemon designed for fighting. Its special ability is Beast Boost, which boosts the Pokemon’s most proficient stat every time it knocks out a target. Pheromosa does not evolve, unlike other Pokemons such as Pikachu, Charmander, and Squirtle. 

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