Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

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Neopalpa donaldtrumpi
Neopalpa donaldtrumpi adult male, Imperial County, California.jpg
Adult male specimen
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Gelechiidae
Genus: Neopalpa
Species: N. donaldtrumpi
Binomial name
Neopalpa donaldtrumpi
Nazari, 2017
Distribution of Neopalpa species.jpg
Distribution of N. donaldtrumpi (yellow triangles)

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is a moth species of the genus Neopalpa occurring in Southern California and Northern Mexico. It was described in 2017 by Canadian scientist Vazrick Nazari. Known for its yellowish-white head scales being reminiscent of Donald Trump's hair, the moth was given its name because Nazari stated that he wanted "to bring wider public attention to the need to continue protecting fragile habitats in the US that still contain many undescribed species."[1]

Discovery[edit]

The genus Neopalpa, including the species Neopalpa neonata, was first described in 1998 by Dalibor Povolný.[2] Almost two decades later, Nazari reviewed the material, including specimens that had been collected since the first description of the genus, from the Bohart Entomology Museum.[3] He considered that some of the specimens formed a new species. In January 2017 he published an article naming it Neopalpa donaldtrumpi for the yellowish-white color of the scales on the head, which reminded him of then President-elect Donald Trump's hairstyle.[4][5]

Description[edit]

Head of N. donaldtrumpi

The upper surface of the N. donaldtrumpi forewings is orange-yellow except for dark brown patches on the fringe and anterior portions of the wing. The length between forewings is 3 mm (0.12 in) to 4.6 mm (0.18 in). Hindwings are pale buff, with dark fringes. The wings have similar coloration for both males and females. Its antennae are about two-thirds of its wingspan and its head is covered with yellowish white scales, which inspired the moth's name.[4][5] Compared with N. neonata, the other species in the genus, N. donaldtrumpi male genitalia structures are smaller and female genitalia possess very few small setae.[4]

Distribution[edit]

While the closely related N. neonata occurs throughout much of California, Baja California and Northwest Mexico, specimens of N. donaldtrumpi so far has only been found in the Northern half of Baja California and Riverside and Imperial counties in Southern California.[4]

Biology[edit]

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi belongs to the twirler moths, known for their propensity to spin in circles on leaves.[6] The moth appears to be evenly distributed through the year, but its host plant and lifespan are not known.[7] Its habitat is threatened by urbanization.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Samuelson, Kate (January 18, 2017). "Scientists Just Named a Tiny Moth After Donald Trump: The moth's official name is Neopalpa donaldtrumpi". Time. Retrieved 2017-01-23. 
  2. ^ Povolný, Dalibor (1998). "Neopalpa gen. n. and Eurysaccoides gen. n. – two new genera of the tribe Gnorimoschemini from California, with the description of three new species (Lepidoptera, Gelechiidae)". Revista de Lepidopterología. Sociedad Hispano-Luso-Americana de Lepidopterología. 26: 139–146. 
  3. ^ Fitch, Chris (2017-01-18). "Meet the Trump moth". Geographical. Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d Nazari, Vazrick (2017). "Review of Neopalpa Povolný, 1998 with description of a new species from California and Baja California, Mexico (Lepidoptera, Gelechiidae)". ZooKeys. 646: 79. doi:10.3897/zookeys.646.11411. 
  5. ^ a b "Neopalpa donaldtrumpi Motte trägt nun Namen von Donald Trump", Der Spiegel, 18 January 2017 (German)
  6. ^ Burdick, Alan (January 20, 2017). "The Metaphorical Meaning of a Moth Named after Trump". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 January 2017. The genus belongs to a wider family, Gelechiidae, the twirler moths, so called for their habit of spinning in circles on the surface of leaves. 
  7. ^ "Research: Recently described moth named in honour of new U.S. president". BirdGuides. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Raphael, John (19 January 2017). "New Moth Species With Yellowish-White Scales, Small Genitals Named After Donald Trump". Nature World News. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 

External links[edit]