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Holotype and paratypes of the new species Neopalpa donaldtrumpi. Photo: Vazrick Nazari

The Donald will get his moth.

Donald J. Trump, to be sworn in as the 45th President of the U.S.A. on Friday, is the namesake of a new species of twirler moth found in California and Baja.

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, stands out for the yellowish-white scales on its head, according to the paper unveiling the new moth in the journal ZooKeys. That coloration was part of the inspiration of linking it to the new American leader.

“The specific epithet is selected because of the resemblance of the scales on the frons (head) of the moth to Mr. Trump’s hairstyle,” the paper posits.

But the hope is that the species name will get some attention to conservation efforts, said Vazrick Nazari, the evolutionary biologist who discovered the new insect, which has a wingspan of just 6 mm.

“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 North American biodiversity.”

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi was discovered when Nazari “stumbled across” specimens among material stored at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California Davis. The samples were distinct enough from another species, Neopalpa neonata, even though they share the same habitat, to justify naming the new critter, the author contends.

DNA sequencing established it was distinct from its sister species, as well, the paper says.

Close up of the head of the holotype of the new species Neopalpa donaldtrumpi. Photo: Vazrick Nazari
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