A Researcher Turned This Moth Into a Trump

An insect species native to the Southwest earns an attention-getting moniker for its golden-flaked head.

Meet N. donaldtrumpi, a newly discovered moth species native to southern California and Baja California. The researcher who discovered the species was struck by the golden flakes atop the insect's head.

Source: Vazrick Nazari; ZooKeys Journal

A Canadian researcher has discovered a new species of moth native to Southern California and Baja California. The insect, which measures just over a centimeter wide, is a visually striking specimen. Golden flakes cover its head, which the researcher likens to the hairdo of President-elect Donald Trump. Hence the name of the new species: Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.

Profile view of N. donaldtrumpi, a newly discovered and named moth species that wears a golden "hairdo." 

Source: Vazrick Nazari; ZooKeys Journal

The insect is distinguishable from a related species, Neopalpa neonata, by the blondness of its head-flakes, the orange-yellow coloration of its fore-wing, and the morphology of its genitals.

Vazrick Nazari published the paper in the journal ZooKeys as an independent scholar, using his own name and no affiliation. Nazari said in a release that he hopes naming the species after the president-elect will help draw attention to the deleterious effects that urbanization has on sensitive ecosystems.

The same journal last month published findings of a new species of fish native to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, the largest such protected area in the world. The fish is named for the president who created the monument: Tosanoides obama.

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