California Scientist Names Moth Species After Donald Trump

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Moth species Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.  (Vazrick Nazari)

A scientist in California has named a newly discovered moth species after President-elect Donald Trump, saying the white and yellow scales on the insect's head are reminiscent of Trump's blond hairdo.

The moth was named Neopalpa donadltrumpi by evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari, who discovered it while dissecting moths and noticing that three specimens had a distinct wing pattern and unique DNA profile, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.

He chose the name, in part, to bring awareness to fragile habitats that may contain undiscovered species. The moths have been found in two Southern California counties, where urban growth is threatening its habitat, according to the research article.

Naming newly discovered species after famous people is nothing new. Nine species have been named in honor of President Barack Obama, including an ancient lizard and a coral reef fish.

The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature has rules to ensure that the same scientific name is used for the same animal by all scientists around the world.


When a new species is found, it is described in a particular way and published in a scientific paper, with a description and illustrations.