A new moth species named after Donald Trump

I suppose this is the appropriate day for a biology post relating to our new (ack!) President. In particular, reader Brigette Zacharczenko, a graduate student in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Connecticut who studies moths (and is also a powerlifter), called my attention to a new species of moth named after The Donald—as well as several species named after Obama.

The moth, Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, is described in this paper written by Varick Nazari and published in ZooKeys; you can get it free by clicking on the screenshot of the title. The species lives in the Southwest U.S. and Baja California, and could easily fly over Trump’s proposed Big Wall:

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-6-56-08-am

Here’s N. donaldtrumpi; the scale bar is 2 mm long:

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-7-01-17-am

The author explains the choice of name,

Etymology. The new species is named in honor of Donald J. Trump, to be installed as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. 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. The specific epithet is selected because of the resemblance of the scales on the frons (head) of the moth to Mr. Trump’s hairstyle. The name is a noun in the genitive case.

To wit:

moth2-large_trans_nvbqzqnjv4bqoqyaia2jp_cjd_vgf5a70kwcakpjtb5jdnh8wivssri

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-7-03-28-am

Dare I add these statements from the description of the male genitalia?

Genitalia comparatively smaller than for N. neonata, tegumen slender and parallel sided, anterior margin laterally notched, uncus long and narrow with a round tip; gnathos a short spine with distinct V-shaped arms about same width; culcitula weakly developed.

. . . In the male genitalia, the valvae are strongly curved, the saccus has an acute tip, and the highly-developed bilobed processes of the vinculum, characteristic of N. neonata, are absent.

And of course there’s a cartoon:

donald-trump-moth-copy-copy

According to the Torygraph, nine species have been named after Barack Obama, including this lovely basslet endemic to a nature reserve in Hawaii (click on screenshot to go to article):

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-7-17-28-am

Note that the Torygraph article gives a photo of the wrong species (they show Tosanoides flavofasciatus); the fish below is T. obama:

oo_115700

An article from EurekAlert! gives more information about the fish, and shows this nice photo:

129735_web

(from EureklAert!): . Sylvia Earle gives President Barack Obama a photograph of Tosanoides obama on Midway Atoll. The photograph is from the film “Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures”, premiering on National Geographic Channel on January 15, 2017.

 

19 Comments

  1. Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    But it’s only January …

  2. RPGNo1
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    “Genitalia comparatively smaller than for N. neonata, tegumen slender and parallel sided, anterior margin laterally notched, uncus long and narrow with a round tip; gnathos a short spine with distinct V-shaped arms about same width; culcitula weakly developed.
    . . . In the male genitalia, the valvae are strongly curved, the saccus has an acute tip, and the highly-developed bilobed processes of the vinculum, characteristic of N. neonata, are absent.”

    Oh, the irony! 🙂

    Btw, I love the cartoon!

    • cherrybombsim
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      And I bet it has short fingers.

  3. Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    405 deadlift! Wow!

    • Zetopan
      Posted January 24, 2017 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      I don’t understand what the big deal is about that many weight. I only weigh about 3/4th of that and given that the weights on the barbell are round I think that I might be able to roll that barbell a little bit across the floor.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Mr. Trump’s hairstyle

    I’ve only encountered the hue of the Trumpian coiffure once before in nature. I was peeing off an arroyo in the Sonoran Desert at dawn, admiring the arc, when the first glint of sunrise shone through the stream.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Ew, but funny all the same.

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Touche! Damn shame it’s not a pestilent locust or something along those lines.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Oh, I can certainly see the resemblance to that:

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Oh well, then this:

  6. David Coxill
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I am not one to wish harm to any living creature ,but i hope it becomes extinct as soon as possible .

    • Kevin
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Extinction, as a general rule, probably comes with replacement.

      “Shoot the dictator and prevent the war? But the dictator is merely the tip of the whole festering boil of social pus from which dictators emerge; shoot one, and there’ll be another one along in a minute. Shoot him too? Why not shoot everyone and invade Poland? In fifty years’, thirty years’, ten years’ time the world will be very nearly back on its old course. History always has a great weight of inertia.” – Lords and Ladies T. Pratchett

  7. David Coxill
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    And i don’t mean the Moth.

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I thought that moth was wearing a toupee. Or at the least was using too much scale product…

  9. Mark R.
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    On this dismal day in history, thanks for the levity.

  10. ChrisB
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This could be a way to harness Trump’s narcissism for something positive.

    Find new species or subspecies in critically endangered habitats and name them after Trump. He may be compelled out of vanity to protect the areas where his species live.

    • Posted January 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Not when it has smaller genitals than its relatives. He’ll wipe that thing out and confiscate the museum specimens.

      • ChrisB
        Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        Too much work, Lou. He’ll just tweet that the species named after him have yoooooge genitals. Facts are irrelevant.


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