Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Meet the Trump moth

The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi moth has a distinctive hairstyle The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi moth has a distinctive hairstyle Vazrick Nazari
18 Jan
2017
The new President of the United States has a namesake – one that’s keen on keeping the US border with Mexico open

It’s the distinctive yellow-white hairstyle which gives it away. Following its recent discovery, this species of moth has been given the official name Neopalpa donaldtrumpi – after the incoming 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.

The discovery, identification and classification of the name was made by Dr Vazrick Nazari, who found it within material borrowed from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California. The N. donaldtrumpi belongs to a distinct subspecies of the Neopalpa neonata Povolný, which was discovered by Czech entomologist Dalibor Povolný in 1998.

trump mothDespite just being officially discovered, the moth is one of many wildlife species in a fragile state of existence (Image: Vazrick Nazari)

‘The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California area 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,’ says Dr. Vazrick Nazari.

‘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 the North American biodiversity.’

The irony presumably isn’t lost on Nazari that this particular species inhabits both sides of the US-Mexican border – populating both Riverside and Imperial counties in California, and the Mexican state of Baja California.

mapDistribution of Neopalpa moth species (Image: Vazrick Nazari)

Related items

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

Since 2006, tiger habitats have shrunk by more than 40…

Climate

Advances in space-based lightning mapping have allowed scientists to measure…

Energy

The amount of energy used by the wealthy minority dwarfs…

Wildlife

Left denuded and depleted of wildlife following a decades-long civil…

Climate

Katie Burton explores the practicalities and ethics of geoengineering, the…

Energy

Though the pandemic has gripped the world's attention, lying just…

Climate

The IPCC embraced the notion of carbon offset schemes in…

Geophoto

The shortlist for the 2020 Wellcome Photography Prize has been…

Climate

Millions have been displaced due to severe floods in central…

Wildlife

A portable DNA assay could revolutionise the way border officials…

Climate

A handy gathering of facts about carbon emissions with graphs…

Oceans

Researchers have revealed just how many polluting microfibres are released…

Wildlife

Increasing reports of seized jaguar fangs and skin suggest that…

Geophoto

Forced isolation has given many of us the chance to…

Oceans

A fifth of the ocean floor has now been mapped,…

Wildlife

Four ex-circus lions discovered in France are due to be…

Oceans

A roundup of some of the top discussions from the…

Energy

The agave plant, used to make Tequila, has proven itself…