A new species of twirler moth was discovered by Vazrick Nazari, a systematist and biologist, while sorting through material borrowed from University of California’s Bohart Museum of Entomology. In the paper he wrote about the moth, published earlier this month in the journal ZooKeys, he explains his choice of name for the small insect.
Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, as it is now officially called, takes after Donald Trump who is going to be installed as the 45th President of the United stated on Friday, January 20th. However, the little fellow does not take only after the future President’s name, but also his hairstyle.
Vazrick Nazari says that the yellow scales that cover the moth’s head resemble the popular hairstyle of Donald Trump and actually served as inspiration for the specific epithet. The moth has a wingspan of less than a centimeter and has bright yellow scales on its head with brown and orange-yellow wings.
While sifting through the material borrowed from the museum, Nazari stumbled upon the moth, which even though it resembled other specimens of the twirler moth genus, it also had distinctive features that set it apart from other moths scientists already knew about.
As the study states, Vazrick Nazari actually discovered the second species of the genus. Neopalpa donaldtrumpi shares the same habitat with the first discovered species of its kind, but can be easily differentiated from the latter by the yellow scales that cover its head.
The release further noted that those scales stand at the core of the newly discovered moth’s name, as they resemble Donald Trump’s popular hairstyle. However, the scientist hopes that the President will take the joke in good spirit and does not get offended by his choice.
At the same time, he called for much-needed help from the future administration to continue protecting fragile and vulnerable habitats across the country that could be the source of similar discoveries in the future. According to the release, Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is specific to Mexico and Southern California, precisely the Algodones Dunes.
At the moment, the President-elect’s team did not comment on Vazrick Nazari’s choice of name for the moth. In the past, scientists drew inspiration from President Obama’s name to baptize lichen, fish, and lizard species, as well.
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