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Nutty Nomenclature

Nutty Nomenclature

All species of organism are given their own specific name by the taxonomist who first describes them.  Every now and again the taxonomists allow themselves to have a little bit of fun.  This is our guide to some more mischievously named species.

Eubetia bigaulae

Don’t get it? The name’s pronounced ‘you betcha by golly’

What is it?
A moth in the family Tortricidae. These moths tend to be small, brown and a bit uninspiring, but in New York State no less than seventeen species of Tortricidae have gained pest status because they are such a nuisance to apple production.

Where’s it found? Venezuela.

When was it first named? 1999.

Who deserves the credit? John W. Brown – a research entomologist at the Smithsonian.

Eubetia bigaulae - a tortricid moth with a silly name. Image by Todd Gilligan.Is there a picture? Yes, click on the thumbnail to get a bigger picture. The title image is actually a related species called Eucosma adamantana, which is a fine name in itself. However, it’s unlikely that it was named after either the 80’s pop star Adam Ant or the X-men’s mighty metal adamantium since this moth was christened in 1845.

Coming soon in Nutty Nomenclature
: Pieza rhea and Heerz lukenatcha.

You might also like some Peculiar Periodicals or Phunny Phobias.

All images with kind permission of Todd Gilligan

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01 Jul 2011
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