Scientists from California decided to name a new species of moth after President Donald Trump. They said that it was called like that because it has a yellowish white scales on the head of adults, which resembles Trump’s iconic hairstyle.
The moth was found by University of California researcher Dr. Vazrick Nazari while he was going through material borrowed from the Bohart Museum of Entomology. He found the specimens and analyzed them to see that their DNA didn’t match to any other discovered species. Scientists expect that by naming it after Trump, it will help to draw attention to the need to preserve these species.
“The reason for this choice of name is to bring wider public attention to the need to continue protecting fragile habitats in the US that still contain many undescribed species,” wrote Vazrick Nazari in a paper published in the February issue of the journal Zoo Keys.
Just a few days before Donald Trump assumed the position, scientists from California decided to name a discovered moth after the Republican president. The name of the moth is ‘Neopalpa donaldtrumpi’. The tiny insect has a yellowish white head scales that resemble Trump’s peculiar blond hairstyle. This was initially what drove the scientist to name the moth after President Trump.
As well, in September a caterpillar was informally named “trumpapillar” after trump’s hairstyle. The orange-yellow caterpillar is from the Peruvian Amazon, and it is terribly hairy.
Researcher Dr. Vazrick Nazari discovered the moth. He found two males and one female. They had unique genitalia and wing patterns. The insects were analyzed, and scientists confirmed that Dr. Nazari discovered the second species of a genus of twirler moths. The insects’ DNA didn’t match with the DNA of previously known species.
Scientists want to raise awareness about the need to protect these species
However, the Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is not the only species named after a celebrity or a politician. A type of basslet was named after Barack Obama one month ago. Other species has been called after Beyoncé and Mick Jagger. Even a parasite crustacean blood feeder was named “Gnathia marleyi” after reggae singer Bob Marley.
Paul Sikker was the professor who named the species after Marley. He said he did it because he admired him and because the species is as Caribbean as the reggae legend was.
Regardless how funny these names might be, scientists say that they do that as a way to raise public’s awareness about the biodiversity issues. They say that these species and their habitats need to be protected. They think that they are about 10 million species that remain unknown, but millions of them might go extinct before scientists get to give them a name. They also said that they expect more scientists to be fond with the field of entomology.
“Celebrity names are a wonderful way to have a little fun and draw attention to the biodiversity crisis,” Quentin Wheeler, a professor at Arizona State University who named one species after Darth Vader. “There’s a good chance that millions of species will go extinct this century before they were ever discovered.”
They want Trump’s administration to continue Obama’s legacy regarding the protection of vulnerable habitat in the United States.
Source: Christian Science Monitor