Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Bug Naming News

Meanwhile, a butterfly discovered in a Florida museum's collection had its naming rights auctioned off to fund an entomology research program. The grandchildren of Margery Minerva Blythe Kitzmiller paid $40,800 to name the insect Opsiphanes blythekitzmillerae.
COMMENT: While the concept of selling species names is still a bit controversial, it's always seemed to me a win-win situation, in which market forces are harnessed to fund scientific research. Given estimates of 10-30 million animal species yet to be named (the overwhelming majority being tropical insects) it's not like opportunities to honor scientists and other worthies will be crowded out by patrons willing to pay for a name.

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