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Meet the Donald Trump moth, named after the resemblance to Trump’s hair

A small moth with a wingspan of just 0.4 inches is the first species to be named for the soon-to-be president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Named for the yellow and white scales topping the moth’s head, resembling Trump’s signature hairstyle, inspiring the name Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, wrote evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari, a researcher from Ottowa, Canada, in a new study.

The moth’s habitat extends from Southern California in the U.S. through Baja California in Mexico.

 

Nazari discovered the new species while examining moth specimens from the Bohart Museum of Entomology in California during an investigation of the North American moth family Gelechiidae, also known as twirler moths.

“Its distinctive wing pattern and its unique DNA bar code immediately flagged it as a new and undescribed species,” Nazari told Live Science in an email.

The shapes of certain folds and pouch-like structures on N. donaldtrumpi’sgenitalia were also unique to the species, Nazari wrote in the study.

Twirler moths earned their common name from a habit of twirling in circles when disturbed. This is the second twirler moth species to be described in the Neopalpagenus, though the family includes more than 4,830 described species, and there may be as many as 10,000 species in that family worldwide, according to the “Encyclopedia of Entomology” (Springer Netherlands, 2008).

photo/ donkeyhotey

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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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