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. 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.
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
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. 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.
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. This is putting the beetle in danger of extinction.
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- Elkins, Ruth (20 August 2006). "Fans exterminate 'Hitler' beetle". The Independent. Retrieved 11 November 2018.