Six-year-old girl discovers Asian moth in UK
A shrub-eating moth has been discovered in the UK for the first time - thanks to the keen eye of a six-year-old girl.
Katie Dobbins' father Julian took a photograph of the furry moth after she found its body at their home in Upper Bucklebury, Berkshire.
He uploaded it onto a wildlife website run by the Open University with the message: "My daughter found this strange moth on our windowsill. Very keen to find out what it is... and why it is so furry."
To everyone's surprise, an Open University nature expert quickly identified the creature as an Euonymus Leaf Notcher, native to Asia.
An Open University spokeswoman said: "The UK moth fauna is very well-studied so it's unusual for brand new species to be found.
"It's even more unusual for a new moth species to be so distinctive and brightly coloured.
"However, insects do frequently get moved around the world with the plant trade and that may explain how it got here."
The moth, which has previously been found in America, will now be handed over to the Natural History Museum to form part of its collection.
The spokeswoman added: "Katie Dobbins is a wildlife enthusiast who has recently started enjoying visits to the Natural History Museum.
"She is very excited at all the activity around her unusual find."
The Open University's iSpot website allows wildlife fans to share information with experts and each other.
Martin Harvey, a researcher at the Open University's Biodiversity Observatory, who identified the moth, said: "Katie's find demonstrates the power of the internet, and iSpot in particular, in helping everyone learn about wildlife.
"Within 24 hours, Katie's moth had been identified on iSpot, confirmed by Martin Honey, curator in the Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum, and an expert in Taiwan.
"This find 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."
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 4 Amy Winehouse unpublished 2004 interview: ‘Ten years from now I’ll be 30, so I’ll maybe have one baby’
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...