Fleeting Wonders: Name the Newest Moth - Atlas Obscura
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Fleeting Wonders: Name the Newest Moth

What will you name this moth? (Image: Western National Parks Association)

The right to name a newly discovered species generally goes to the person who made the find, but one entomologist has decided to open the floor up…to eBay users. 

As the Herald Review reports, in 2007, Eric H. Metzler discovered a unique little moth. Smaller than an inch in length and weighing less than an ounce, the little bug(ger) was a completely new species. Of course, proving a news species takes years of scientific research; only now that it has been verified are the researchers ready to give the new moth a name. 

The bug hunter put the naming rights up on eBay, allowing any old joe to bid for the right to name the new moth. But this cute trick is not just for Metzler’s personal enrichment. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Western National Parks Association, which has funded some of his research.

There are around 160,000 species of moths in the world. It may be time to name one of your own. Our suggestion: atlas obscuricus.   

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to edit@atlasobscura.com.