Anophthalmus hitleri

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Anophthalmus hitleri
Anophthalmus hitleri HabitusDors.jpg
Anophthalmus hitleri
Scientific classification
A. hitleri
Binomial name
Anophthalmus hitleri
Scheibel, 1937

Anophthalmus hitleri (Slovene: Hitlerjev brezokec) is a species of blind cave beetle found only in five humid caves in Slovenia. The blind cave beetle shares its genus with 41 other species and 95 different subspecies.[1] Members of its subfamily (Trechinae) are, like most Carabidae, predatory, so the adults and larvae of A. hitleri are presumed to be predators on smaller cave inhabitants.


The scientific name of the beetle comes from a German collector, Oscar Scheibel, who was sold a specimen of a then undocumented species in 1933. Its species name was made a dedication to Adolf Hitler, who had recently become Chancellor of Germany. The genus name means eyeless, so the full name can be translated as "the eyeless one of Hitler". The dedication did not go unnoticed by the Führer, who sent Scheibel a letter showing his gratitude.[1] Despite its strong political associations, it is of taxonomic tradition not to change the binomial name of an organism, with exceptions for religious names, which are also discouraged.[1]

The species exhibits no notable characteristics, such as extravagant colors or unusual antennae, and is of interest to collectors of Hitler memorabilia and beetle collectors purely as a result of its name.[2][3] This is putting the beetle in danger of extinction.[4]

After World War II, renaming the beetle was rejected by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Since the beetle's name has been registered, it is impossible to now change the species name, unless it has violated its rule when it was first registered into the system. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c George, Rose (April 2002). "A beetle called Hitler". Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2006.
  2. ^ Entomologische Blätter 33: 438
  3. ^ Berenbaum, May (2010). "ICE Breakers" (PDF). American Entomologist. 56 (3): 132–133 & 185. doi:10.1093/ae/56.3.132. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2017-01-20.
  4. ^ Elkins, Ruth (20 August 2006). "Fans exterminate 'Hitler' beetle". The Independent. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2019-04-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)