Wow, biologists need to peruse eBay more! I remember ChrisM talking about this before with regard to sea stars. This time a professor purchased a small piece of amber with an insect in it form eBay for 20 pounds, BBC reports:
"Dr Harrington sent the specimen to Professor Ole Heie, a fossil aphid expert in Denmark.Thank FSM that it was not named after eBay LOL.
"He discovered that it was something that hadn't been described before," Dr Harrington explained.
The insect itself is 3-4mm long and is encased in a 40-50 million-year-old piece of amber about the size of a small pill.
"I had thought it would be rather nice to call it Mindarus ebayi," said Dr Harrington.
"Unfortunately using flippant names to describe new species is rather frowned upon these days."
Instead, Professor Heie named the new species after Dr Harrington.
"It's not uncommon to find insects in amber... but I'm not sure that one has turned up on eBay that has been undiscovered before. It's a rather unusual route to come by [a new species]," the researcher, based at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire, explained.
He said the insect would have fed on a tree called Pinetes succinifer which is itself now long since extinct."