Neopalpa Donaldtrumpi: New Species Of Moth Named After Trump Due To Its Hairstyle

Posted: Jan 17 2017, 11:31pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 18 2017, 3:39am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Neopalpa Donaldtrumpi: New Species of Moth Named after Trump Due to its Hairstyle
Credit: Dr. Vazrick Nazari
 

Newfound species has yellowish-white scales atop its head

Just days before Trump’s inauguration as US president, researchers named a new species of moth in his honor.

When a Canadian biologist discovered a new moth species while examining specimens from Bohart Museum of Entomology in California, he noticed a distinctive cluster of yellow-white scales on top of their head.

As the insect appears to have strikingly similar ‘hairstyle’ as president-elect,’ he decided to name new species after Donald Trump. But same hairstyle is not the only reason for the name. The newfound moth species is already endangered and discoverer believes that naming it after US president will boost its profile and better describe the need for conservation efforts.

"By naming this species after the 45th President of the United States, I hope to bring some public attention to, and interest in, the importance of alpha-taxonomy in better understanding the neglected micro-fauna component of the North American biodiversity." Discoverer and evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari said in a statement

The new species of moth, officially described as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, stretches across southern California in US to Baja California in Mexico. The species is really small with a wingspan of just 0.4 inches.

Initially, N. donaldtrumpi was not recognized as a new species. However, the analysis of seven specimens suggested that it is a separate species that has never been reported before. It is just the second species of twirler moths under genus Neopalpa.

Described in 1998, the genus Neopalpa originally had a single species based on two specimens from California, which is called N. neonata. The discovery of another species extends the genus.

The new moth species is threatened by habitat loss. The conservation of its habitat could protect it from becoming extinct.

“The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California underscores the importance of conservation of the fragile habitats that still contain undescribed and threatened species, and highlights the paucity of interest in species-level taxonomy of smaller faunal elements in North America.” Nazari said.

This is not the first time when a species is named after US president. Recently, fish species from Hawaii has been given Barrack Obama’s name to acknowledge his marine conservation efforts in Pacific.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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