1: Hi. Is this the University of Oxford? Looks like it. So, how do I go about naming a new species?
2: Erm, well, I'm, not really the right person to-
1: Yeah, great, we can sort out the subtleties later. I want to register a new species of ant. And [Chuckles] it's brilliant actually, because I've named it after Brian Wilson out of The Beach Boys.
2: I was actually just about to start my lunch so -
1: Yeah, it's a fire ant. Which is cool, because Brian Wilson totally wore a fireman's hat. That once. Also, the ant lives only in sand and a sandpit is where Brian Wilson went mental, and, like other fire ants it communicates by tapping the ground with its feet and picking up the "good vibrations".
2: I'm not certain I really-
1: I've called it Solenopsis Brianwilsonoutofthebeachboysii. What do I sign to get that official?
2: Look, it's not me that manages this, but to name a new species at the very least you'll need to supply a specimen.
1: Oh. That will be hard. I've not found it yet.
2: You've not found it?
1: Yeah, I don't know for certain it exists. But I thought it was worth booking the name first, and then double checking.
2: Hmmm. I can't believe I'm asking this, but, why don't you find a new species first, and then name it?
1: Because, if I did that I'd probably find an ant with a black head that makes it look like it's wearing a crappy hat, and then I'd have to call it Myrmicinae Thelatesirterrypratchettii. And all the new animals are named after bleeding Terry Pratchett. Terry Pratchett and ancient Greeks -do scientists just read the same two books over and over again, eh? Lazy buggers.
2: Well, good luck on your incredibly specific search.
1: Ha! Well, it's not just Solenopsis Brianwilsonoutofthebeachboysii I'm seeking, for your information. I'm also looking for a witchetty grub named after W B Yeats, which can be found in Sligo, or maybe Byzantium, a Birmingham-based salamander that looks like Benny from Crossroads, and an aardvark called Andy McNabb which lives on helicopters.
2: Best get moving, then; don't want anyone else to find your fire ant first, and name it after The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, do you?
1: No, I do not! I shall catch the next plane to Kokomo!
2: Brian Wilson wasn't on that one.
1: Oh. Right. Never mind, Solenopsis Mikelovethecompletebastardoutofthebeachboysii would do just as well.