Photomicrograph of M. arnoldi
Photomicrograph of the female of the new species Megapropodiphora arnoldi. Brian Brown

A bizarre new fly species has been discovered by an entomologist from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, who decided to name the animal after Kindergarten Cop star Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The fly, which is the world's smallest, has enlarged forelegs resembling 'big arms', hence the reference to the Governator. The fly's other legs and wings, on the other hand, appear reduced to tiny stubs.

"As soon as I saw those bulging legs, I knew I had to name this one after Arnold," Brian Brown said. "Not only is he a major cultural icon and an important person in the political realm, his autobiography gave me some hope that I could improve my body as a skinny teenager."

Despite its unusual enlarged legs, Megapropodiphora arnoldi is tiny, measuring just 0.395 mm in length. This is a fraction smaller than the previous smallest fly, Euryplatea nanaknihali, which was also discovered by Brown and measures 0.4 mm in length.

M. arnoldi was discovered in the Brazilian Amazon but, because it is so small, only one specimen has been found so far.

"We found the fly in a trap sample; otherwise, we would never have seen it," Brown told IBTimes UK. "Imagine looking for the smallest needle in the largest imaginable haystack!"

Arnold Schwarzenegger and the New Fly Species M. arnoldi
Arnold Schwarzenegger pictured next to a drawing of his record-breaking namesake - the newly discovered fly species Megapropodiphora arnoldi. Wikimedia Commons/Tyler Hayden

Based on its characteristics, Brown thinks that the fly is a type of parasitoid – an insect whose larvae live as parasites which eventually kill their hosts – that probably lives off ants or termites, although these behaviours have not been observed.

The new animal is described in a paper published in Biodiversity Data Journal.