Skip To Content
The Schmooze

RBG Fans, Say Hello to Ruth Bader Gins-bug

Alright, folks: you love her on the bench, you love her on the internet, and now you get to love her as she affectionately decapitates the male with whom she’s just mated. Yes, that’s right, there is now an official Ruth Bader Ginsburg praying mantis, and we are all blessed.

(For the scientific record, only some of the 2,000+ species of praying mantis actually feature females who decapitate their mates; whether or not the newly minted Ilomantis ginsburgæ is one of them has yet to receive press coverage.)

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History researchers who identified the mantis breed named it in honor of everyone’s favorite Supreme Court Justice (sorry, Roberts) due to its vaguely lacelike neckplate, which they said reminded them of Bader Ginsburg’s favorite accessory, the jabot. (For those not in the know, aside from an aura of cool, almost transcendent confidence and capability, RBG’s trademark is her frilly neckwear.) It’s also the first mantis species to be identified using a new technique that uses the characteristics of a female specimen’s genitalia to define a species.

“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,” said Sydney Brannoch, the technique’s originator and lead author of the Ilomantis ginsburgæ paper, in a statement. If we dared speak on behalf of the queen –the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, mind you – we think her response would be clear: RBG approves. Let the Ruth Bader Gins-bug jokes commence.

Talya Zax is the Forward’s culture intern. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter, @TalyaZax

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.