You Can Buy The Right To Name A New Moth Species

mothCalling all lepidopterists: if you’re obsessed with moths, now is your chance to name a newly discovered species whatever you want (might I suggest The MBQ?) — all you need is enough money to outbid the other moth fans out there.

You can win clothing, electronics, collectibles and other products on eBay, so why not the naming rights to an entire species of insect? A moth that was discovered eight years ago at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico by entomologist Eric H. Metzler has finally reached the part of the approval process where it can finally get an official name, reports the Associated Press.

Usually the person who discovers a new species is the one who chooses its moniker, but Metzler wanted to do something good for the Western National Parks Association. So he asked it to hold an online auction for the naming rights, and take the proceeds.

“I am not a rich man and I don’t have a lot of money to give to charity but this is the way I could give them money in the form of service. I could use my brains to help them,” Metzler said.

The bidding started at $500 on Saturday and ends Oct. 23. As of this writing, the highest bid is $5,800. That’s not too bad, considering you’ll probably be the only person anyone knows who’s gotten to name any kind of species.

Once there’s a winner, Metzler will work with that person to Latinize the name, and it will then need to be approved by an international organization.

This isn’t the first time wildlife has gotten a new name via auction: Nova Southeastern University auctioned off the naming rights to a new type of sea lily last year for $6,150.

Public has chance to name new moth species [Associated Press]

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