Want to name a new species? Well, go discover one, you lazy bum. That's the way this usually goes.
But for those of you with money to burn, there's a rare chance to skip the hard part: A researcher is selling the naming rights to his new species of moth on eBay. The proceeds will benefit the Western National Parks Association.
"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," entomologist Eric H. Metzler told the Associated Press.
This isn't going to be a free-for-all. The winner of the auction — which ends on Oct. 23 and is already up to $5,800 — has to coordinate with Metzler to pick a suitable name. The genus isn't new, so whatever name you pick has to get tacked onto Givira. You're buying one word, don't go crazy.
And Motherboard rightly points out that there's an International Code of Zoological Nomenclature that exists to keep you from naming your new species "DeezNuts." Scientific names are supposed to describe some of a species' features.
Then again, that rule has historically been applied pretty loosely. There's an ancient swamp pig named after Mick Jagger because it might have had big lips, and a fly named after Beyonce for its "golden behind." Generally speaking, everyone is A-OK with names that serve to honor celebrities and friends more than to describe the species in question.
We at Speaking of Science urge the winner of the auction to be creative. Don't just name it after yourself. Don't name it after your product, as cool as it would be to have a Givira doritos moth flying around.
Shoot for the stars, and go for the pun, random rich person (or brand). Your name can be both silly and descriptive. Here are some suggestions:
1. Givira pongo because it kind of looks like a dalmatian, sort of, or at least as much as that swamp pig looked like Mick Jagger, and this seems like a good name for a moth, yeah?
2. Givira break (don't actually use this one)
3. Givira shoop for its Salt-N-Pepa fuzz