Blair's namesake is not extinct after all

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A two-inch-long moth which was thought to have been extinct for the past 50 years has reappeared. The Sedina buettneri moth, otherwise known as Blair's Wainscot, has had a fate seemingly tied to politics.

It was first identified in Britain by a retired beetle expert at the British Museum, Dr KG Blair in 1946, just after Clement Attlee's landslide Labour victory. Then it was declared extinct in 1950, the year before the Conservatives were re-elected under Winston Churchill.

The Blair's Wainscot was sighted yesterday in a secluded Dorset river valley. Butterfly Conservation, which made the find, is keen to keep its exact location secret for fear that thousands of collectors will descend on the valley in search of the unusual insect, destroying the moth's only known habitat.

Labour-voting moth lovers claim that the delicate pink streaks on the Blair's Wainscot are evidence of its left-wing credentials, perhaps particularly appropriate, as Labour has just emerged from years in the wilderness.

It is not clear whether the moth, which faces an uncertain future, will be a talisman for Labour's new year.