Environment

New moth species for Trump

A newly discovered species of moth was named after President-elect Donald Trump. The California moth’s habitat is threatened by urbanization.
A newly discovered species of moth was named after President-elect Donald Trump. The California moth’s habitat is threatened by urbanization. Dr. Vazrick Nazari

Beyoncé has a horsefly named after her. A tarantula has Johnny Cash’s name. And President Barack Obama has nine species, from ancient lizards to coral reef fish, named in his honor.

Now President-elect Donald Trump is joining their ranks with a California moth named Neopalpa donaldtrumpi in recognition of the incoming 45th president.

White and yellow scales on the moth’s head look like Trump’s blond hairdo, researchers said in their report on the newly discovered species Tuesday.

Evolutionary biologist Dr. Vazrick Nazari published an article about the moth in the scientific journal ZooKeys. Nazari discovered the new species while dissecting moths from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis. He noticed three of the specimens he was studying had a distinct wing pattern and unique DNA profile and realized it was a new species.

Nazari also named the moth after Trump to gain attention and raise public awareness of fragile habitats that may contain undiscovered species. The moths have been found in Riverside and Imperial counties in Southern California, where the species’s natural habitat is at risk from urban growth, according to the research article.

Robin Opsahl: 916-321-1176, @robinlopsahl

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