Monday, 30 July 2012

Ten British species given new names

Ten species step out of obscurity as the 2012 Name a Species competition winners are announced
July 2012. Emerging from obscurity, ten previously unnamed British species are now enjoying some long-awaited limelight as the results of the competition to give them popular names were announced. The overall winner was the ‘cutpurse wasp', hitherto known only as Aporus unicolor - a wasp that breaks into the burrow of the purse web spider, paralyses it and uses the still-living body as a host for its own eggs.

Other winners included the solar-powered sea slug, corrugated scarab and semaphore fly, previously known as Elysia viridis, Brindalus porcicollis and Poecilobothrus nobilatus respectively. It's hoped that their more memorable (and easier to pronounce) new names will find them places in the popular imagination alongside species such as the kingfisher, dormouse and bee orchid.
Name a Species
Thousands of people submitted entries to this year's Name a Species competition, which again invited the public to give popular names to ten British species that have until now only had scientific names. The entries were judged by our panel: Dr Peter Brotherton, Natural England's Head of Profession for Biodiversity; Dr Keith Hiscock, Associate Fellow at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth; George Monbiot, author and Guardian columnist; and Matt Shardlow, Chief Executive of Buglife.

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