An extinct moth, Urania sloanus has recently been purchased by a biologist at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus:
“When developmental biologist Tom Terzin discovered the mint-condition, extinct Urania sloanus on an eBay auction, both his academic interest and his collector’s spirit were set ablaze.
The gorgeous, jewel-toned, day-flying Jamaican moth was last recorded in 1895. The seller had placed a reserve bid of nearly $6,000 on the specimen, and Terzin couldn’t meet the minimum amount on his own to add it to his enormous private collection. He sent out a message to his colleagues at Augustana Campus in Camrose, in hopes that they would enjoy the sight of the rare moth before it was snapped up by a large museum or private collector.” (Read the complete article by Christopher Thrall at UAlberta’s rural campus rallies for rare insect)
Although it looks like an exotic swallowtail butterfly, Urania sloanus (Cramer, 1779) is considered to be the worlds most beautiful moth. It was first described by Pieter Cramer, a Dutch merchant and entomologist. He named it after the British naturalist Hans Sloane, who was probably the first to illustrate this moth in the second edition of Natural History of Jamaica, in 1725 (below, plates 11 and 12.)