A new species of moth has been found in the Appalachian Mountains and scientists have decided to name it Cherokeea attakullakulla, the name is a reference to Attakullakulla, a Cherokee chief who lived in that region in the 1700s.
The moth was first recorded in 1958, when Dr. John G. Franclemont, a professor at Cornell University was studying some insects he collected in North Carolina. He noticed a few specimens appeared different than the rest but did not realize he was dealing with a whole new species at the time.
The Cherokeea Attakullakulla may have been first discovered in 1958 by Professor John Franclemont at Cornell University when studying insects collected in North Carolina. It was not identified or named at that time. Dr. Bolling Sullivan III discovered this moth nearly four decades later when he was exploring the southern Appalachian Mountains in the state. It is strange that these moths have been in existing for millions of years and were neither discovered nor listed as endangered.
Recently though, Sullivan partnered up with retired entomologist Dr. Eric Quinter who had been studying this particular group of moths for decades. The two scientists were able to finally name the new species, over 50 years after it was first documented.
“Fortunately, today much of this wondrous place and its extraordinarily diverse biota remains preserved as the Great Smoky Mountains National Par, and the memory of those who first settled there remains immortalized in a tiny creature oblivious to it all,” Dr. Quinter said.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is proud to preserve their extraordinary diverse biota today. Today the memory of the first settlers remains immortalized by the Cherokee Attakullakulla moth that remains oblivious to its discovery.