New moth species named after Trump. Photo courtesy Vazrick Nazari
A new species of twirler moth with a wing span of less than half an inch, and decorated with yellow and white scales on top of its head, has been named after President-elect Donald Trump, according to a story on nbcnews.com.
Evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari, a researcher from Ottowa, Canada, said the scales inspired him to name the moth after the flamboyant soon-to-be Commander-In-Chief, giving the new species the handle, Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.
Nazari said, in a study published in the journal ZooKeys, the moth was discovered while examining other moth specimens during an investigation of twirler moths at the Bohart Museum of Entomology in California.
Twirler moths were christened as such by the way they tend to twirl in circles when disturbed. The new species is the second identified in the Neopalpa genus, but the family includes over 4,800 described species, and estimates say there could be as many as 10,000 total.
The report says Nazari examined seven specimens in total, six males and one female, noting the species body length was about the same as its wing span, just under a half-inch.
The distinctive scales on top of the moth’s head are described as yellowish-white, with additional orange-yellow coloration as well. The insects’ bodies are off-white and their wings are a brown or grayish-brown color.
According to the article, Nazari said the distinctive wing pattern and the DNA code of the moth made him immediately realize it was a new and undescribed species. Nazari noted the moth’s genitalia contained certain fold and pouch-like structures that were also unique to the species.
This is not the first new species to have its name inspired by the next President’s hairstyle. In September of 2016, an extremely hairy orange-yellow caterpillar of the flannel moth, native to the Amazon area of Peru, was dubbed “Trumpapillar” as well.
Nazari said tagging a new species with a recognizable name can inspire interest from the general public, not only for the species, but for its habitat and ecosystem surrounding the species. President Obama has inspired a total of nine species names alone.
Nazari said he hoped the incoming president will make conservation one of his top priorities in office.