New species of moth named after amateur naturalist who made discovery in Buckfastleigh, Devon

April 28, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A British nature-lover is to have an insect named after him after he discovered an entirely new species — of MOTH.

Amateur naturalist Bob Heckford spotted the tiny moth – which has a wing span of just 6mm – in a woodland in Buckfastleigh, Devon.

He first noticed unusually bright green caterpillars munching on leaves before they later transformed into the miniscule moths.

The tiny moths have been confirmed as a species previously unknown to science and not found anywhere else in the world.

Experts have now honoured his amazing discovery by naming the bug – Ectoedemia Heckfordi – after Bob.

Bob, of Plymouth, Devon, said: ”The moths themselves are so tiny that you have to be sharp-eyed to see them.

”This discovery was really a needle in a haystack find and gives us a tempting insight into what might still be out there.”

The new species of micro-moth was discovered at the National Trust’s Hembury Woods estate in Buckfastleigh.

Matthew Oates, nature conservation adviser, said: ”We hear so much about the losses to the natural world, and less about the gains, which makes this find so important.

”This discovery of a new species of micro moth is even more significant given that it has been found nowhere else in the world.

”Amateur naturalists have a wonderful window on the wildlife world and nature continues to amaze us and throw up surprises even in the UK

”In the UK we have some of the finest naturalists in the world and there is a real need to encourage this deep-rooted tradition of discovery in children and adults.”

The woods where the Ectoedemia Heckfordi was discovered is known as a wildlife hot spot and is special site for moths and butterflies.

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