What would you pay to name a moth? This photo provided by Eric H. Metzler shows a new species of moth, discovered by Metzler, that will be named by the lucky winner of an online auction whose proceeds will benefit the Western National Parks Association, which has funded some of Metzler's research. (Eric H. Metzler via AP)
What would you pay to name a moth?
Lexile

An auction on eBay allows the public to make a different kind of purchase as they peruse the used clothing, electronics and war relics on the site. Up for sale: naming rights to a new insect.
 
A moth that weighs less than an ounce and measures about an inch was discovered eight years ago at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico by entomologist Eric H. Metzler.
 
The rigorous process to have a new species approved has taken several years, but now Metzler, a volunteer at the park, is ready to give his flying friend a name.
 
That honor is usually bestowed on the person who made the finding.
 
But Metzler wanted to give back to the Western National Parks Association, which has funded some of his research. So he asked the organization to start an online auction for the naming rights and to 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 auction went live on eBay and ends Oct. 23. Bidding starts at $500.
 
"When are you ever going to have the opportunity to have your own moth named after you?" said Amy Reichgott, development manager for the Western National Parks Association.
 
The winner will work with Metzler to Latinize the name. An international organization has to approve the name.
 
Others have auctioned off naming rights with varied success. Last year, Nova Southeastern University, for example, auctioned off the naming rights to a newly discovered type of sea lily.
 
The university's public affairs department touted it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, suggesting it was the perfect holiday gift that would also help benefit the Florida school's Oceanographic Center.
 
The winner of the auction, a Florida resident, shelled out $6,150. The sea lily hasn't been officially named yet as it's still undergoing a peer-review process, university spokesman Joe Donzelli said.
 
Reichgott knows a moth may be even less appealing than a sea lily, so the organization sent out emails reminding members and others that moths are butterflies without the bright colors that fly at night, not the daytime.
 
"We're trying to break the stigma against the moth. Give the moth a fair shake," she said, laughing.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 6 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How will this moth benefit the Western National Parks Association?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (7)
  • ameliat-Orv
    10/26/2015 - 02:57 p.m.

    While this is a creative idea to raise money, I don't think I would pay more than $500 to name a moth that would only live for a couple of days.

  • mayaw-6-bar
    10/28/2015 - 02:38 p.m.

    The moth will benefit the Western National Parks Association because the moth will bring awareness to National Parks, it could inspire people to visit national parks because of the chance that new species could be found, and the money will help the National parks service. I find this article interesting because I want to find a new species.

  • derekh-day
    11/01/2015 - 10:42 p.m.

    I wouldn't pay money to name my child, why would I pay money to name a moth? People waste money on all sorts of things these days I guess. But, no, I would not name a moth after me even if it was free. I just wouldn't care enough to go through all of that trouble just to name something that I don't even own.

  • robertb-lam
    11/02/2015 - 09:42 a.m.

    I would have named it "The Killer Moth" after the DC villain.

  • ameliaw-2-coo
    11/03/2015 - 09:11 a.m.

    this moth will befit the Western National Parks Association because it will give them a bigger name, something that people will remember them by.

  • thomasm-day
    11/11/2015 - 07:39 p.m.

    This is going to a good cause but the person who found the insect should name it. The person who found it knows the most about it and give a more proper name then sea lily. That makes it sound like an ocean flower when it was founded in New Mexico and is a nocturnal insect. But just like in any business, money talks.

  • melanien-ree
    11/13/2015 - 11:39 a.m.

    This moth will benefit the Western National Parks Association because the online auction for the naming rights' proceeds will go to the Association. The article stated, "So he asked the organization to start an online auction for the naming rights and to take the proceeds." The money that the auction raised was to be given to the Association by Metzler, because he wanted to give back to them when they funded his research. Therefore, this moth will benefit the Western National Parks Association.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT