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 an 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. 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 ended Oct. 23, and the bidding started at $500.
 
"When are you ever going to have the opportunity to have your own moth named after you?" said Amy Reichgott. She is 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 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. The department suggested that it was the perfect holiday gift. It also would 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 because 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.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How will this moth benefit the Western National Parks Association?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (40)
  • annabel1226-yyca
    10/26/2015 - 08:24 p.m.

    I will never ever pay money to name a moth. You won't get to do anything except name it and waste your precious money. What will the people give you if you pay and name the moth? Are you going to be treated well and fair? If they will treat me well I will name the moth. Can you have the moth or is it the state's. This is a good idea you get to name the moth for a special event like to keep it as a memory. It will be a very good idea to name the moth for a memory. If I get to keep the moth I will take care of it well. I will name it Annabel I.

  • anthonyr-
    10/27/2015 - 03:35 p.m.

    why ain't the have colorful wings or body.

  • anthonyr-
    10/27/2015 - 03:36 p.m.

    why ain't the moth have colorful wings or body.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/27/2015 - 08:51 p.m.

    I think that it is cool that an entomologist named Eric H. Metzler discovered a moth eight years ago White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. He made the decision to give back to the Western National Parks Association for funding in his research. He has asked them to make an online auction that would allow people to bid some money for the right to name the moth that was found. I think that this is really interesting because most people would want to just name the creature by themselves instead of giving the opportunity to others. The winner of the auction spent six thousand one hundred and fifty dollars to name the moth.

  • collinf-2-bar
    10/27/2015 - 09:16 p.m.

    The moth will benefit the Western National Parks Association by giving it publicity from the auction.

    I was surprised that someone would pay over $6,000 to name a sea lily.

  • John0724-YYCA
    10/27/2015 - 09:17 p.m.

    I think that they are paying way too much to name one moth that doesn't have a name because the bidding starts at five hundred dollars and I think that they are paying way too much. I would not even pay a cent for a moth.

  • lanes-jen
    10/28/2015 - 11:34 a.m.

    I wouldn't want a moth named after me. That would just be weird and stupid. who would pay that much to name a moth? Like really?

  • kieranw-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 12:54 a.m.

    This moth will benefit the Western National Parks Association by adding more attention and views that will have to travel and spend money on a tour, this money will help the association. I knew moths were insects that flew around at night but i honestly didn't know there were different species. This auction by Metzler is a good way to get people involved in journeying national parks and helping the community learn more about wild life. I think it is very crazy that naming a species can be in the hands of the public and also that it is so expensive. Buying the name of a new species of sea lili truly went for $6,150 which is pretty expensive just for a name. But over all i learned that there are species of moth and that naming a species can be in the hands of the public.

  • carsonk-2-bar
    10/29/2015 - 05:08 p.m.

    The moth will benefit the National Parks by giving it public recognition from the auction."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." This article was interesting because it was cool to see that there is a new species rising. This article surprised me because I wouldn't think that someone would pay 6,000 dollars just to name a moth.

  • taylorl-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 06:19 p.m.

    The moth will benefit the Western National Parks Association because the money made from the naming rights auction will go to them. It will also bring attention to the fact that moths are also butterflies just without the bright colors because instead of flying during the day they fly at night. I chose this article because I did not know what naming rights meant and I wanted to learn.

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