New species of mothTuesday 5th December 2023
New species of moth discovered in west London park
The moth, now named ‘Tachystola mulliganae’ after Barbara Mulligan who discovered it in Walpole Park, London. Is a new type of moth belonging to the genus Tachystola, which originates from Australia.
An extract from the above BBC article explains:
“To prove that Ms Mulligan’s moth was unknown, microlepidoptera unit curator Dr David Lees (from the national history museum) conducted cutting-edge DNA sequencing on their historical collections.
Among the collections were a series of Tachystola specimens found in Australia in 1886.
Using a leg from these species and a leg from Ms Mulligan’s moth, Dr Lees was able to conclude that they were genetically different.
However, there was one specimen in the 137-year-old collection that was unknown, unnamed and undocumented.
Dr Lees tested Ms Mulligan’s find against this mystery moth, which had been found in Western Australia.“
Interestingly, the unidentified moth from the natural history museum, from 1886, was found in an Australian town named Walpole, much like the park the new specimen had been discovered in.