On 6 October, a photo of an unusual looking moth was posted onto iSpot, the Open University's website to help anyone identify plants and wildlife. The OU identified it as being the Euonymus Leaf Notcher moth - never seen in the UK before.
Within 24 hours of it being identified on iSpot, the species was also confirmed by Martin Honey, Curator in the Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum, and an expert in Taiwan. The Natural History Museum will take the moth into their collection this week.
Martin Harvey, a researcher at the OU's Biodiversity Observatory, who identified the moth on iSpot, said: 'this find demonstrates the power of the internet in helping everyone learn about wildlife. It may just be a one-off, or it could be harbinger of establishment in the UK. The moth is regarded as a something of pest in America and Asia, but its food plants are restricted to ornamental shrubs.'
The furry moth was found by six year old Katie Dobbins from Berkshire and her father posted the photo on iSpot (www.ispot.org.uk). iSpot is a new OU website to post images to help name the flower, plant, insect or animal seen and share observations with others.
So, perhaps a future episode of Rockford's Rock Opera's audiobook on CD or on line with have an Euonymous Moth and well as an Anonymous one!