by Kelton Welch, UK Entomology Graduate Student
I just read this archived article on ScienceDaily.com. Some researchers in Mexico auctioned off the rights to name a new species of butterfly. An anonymous donor paid $40,000 on behalf of a family from Ohio to name it after that family’s deceased grandmother.
Now, having a species named after you is a great honor; but $40,000 is a lot of money, even though, in this case, it was for a good cause (funding butterfly research in Mexico). Remember that this is a butterfly: an ant or tiger beetle would be considerably cheaper. You could probably get a blow fly or stink bug for two digits.
How much would you pay for the right to name a favorite type of insect or other arthropod?
I would rather become a taxonomist: they actually make money to name things.