Endangered species of moth named after Donald Trump
Los Angeles, Jan 18: Ahead of his swearing-in as the 45th President of US, a new endangered species of moth has been named in honour of Donald Trump by scientists because the insect shares his hairstyle.
The new moth, officially described as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, stands out with yellowish-white scales present on the head in adults. It was in these scales that evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari from Ottawa, Canada found an amusing reference to Trump's hairstyle and turned it into an additional justification for its name. The fame around the new moth will successfully point to the critical need for further conservation efforts for fragile areas such as the habitat of the new species, said Nazari.
While going through material borrowed from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at University of California, Davis in the US, Nazari stumbled across a few specimens that did not match any previously known species. Following thorough analysis of these moths, as well as material from other institutions, the scientist confirmed he had discovered the second species of a genus of twirler moths.
While both species in the genus share a habitat, stretching across the states of California in US, and Baja California in Mexico, one can easily tell them apart. Trump, 70, will be sworn-in as the 45th US President on January 20. Trump's flying namesake has been announced only a month following the recently described species of basslet named after Barack Obama. The fish is only known from coral reefs in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Northwestern Hawaii, a nature reserve which the 44th President of the US expanded to become the largest protected marine area in the world.
Being a substantially urbanised and populated area, the habitat of N donaldtrumpi is also under serious threat. "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," said Nazari.
"By naming this species after the 45th President of the US, 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," Nazari added. The research was published in the journal ZooKeys.