The Times reports that solicitor and amateur entomologist Bob Heckford has discovered an entirely new species of moth in a Devon oak wood and it has been named Ectoedemia heckfordi after him. The discovery was in 2004 but it's only now that it's been confirmed as a new species and named. Apparently this is only the second new moth species to be identified in Britain in the last 50 years. 

Perhaps just as interesting is the fact that this is a micro-moth, the adult of which is only 3mm long – a genre of moths I had not heard of before now. It makes it all the more impressive that he found it! The article is a shade confused and also mentions 6mm, which I think must be the wingspan based on other sources reporting the same story. Maybe micro-moths have been fluttering around me for years and I just couldn't tell that's what they were on a dusky evening. A quick Google for "micro-moth" shows that most are 8mm or larger, and frankly don't look particularly micro to me, so if this one truly is only 3mm that would appear to make it particularly tiny.

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  1. Am I the only nerd around here that things discovering a new species and then having it named after you is about the coolest thing in the world?! 🙂 And in the UK too. Makes me wonder when else is still waiting to be discovered in these overcrowded islands of ours!

  2. I’m surprised that in these commercial times new species aren’t being sponsored and named accordingly, e.g. The Beezer Homes Moth.

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