An evolutionary biologist going through the moth collection at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis came across a few specimens that did not appear to belong to any known species.
Further study revealed that Dr. Vazrick Nazari had, indeed, found a previously unknown variety of the flying creatures.
Different species of moths
Different species of moths
The Atlas moth
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A White Tip Black Winged Moth on a white flower.
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Close-Up of a moth
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A silkmoth is seen at the CRA research unit in Padua, Italy, June 4, 2015. Despite having wings, the adult moth cannot fly. The Padua research unit houses some 200 different genetic types of silkworm. Clusters of silkworms munch on piles of locally-grown mulberry leaves in a white marquee in Italy's northern Veneto region. They are nourishing hopes of a revival of Italy's 1,000 year-old silk industry.
Syntomoides imaon moths mate on the stem of a plant in Lalitpur October 11, 2011.
A moth rests on a window at Marjayoun village in south Lebanon May 6, 2012. Picture taken May 6, 2012.
(REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi)
A cotton bollworm moth (helicoverpa armigera) sits on the hand of a technician in a laboratory in Melbourne June 18, 2008. The genetic secrets of the world's worst agricultural pest, which is resistant to nearly every class of chemical pesticide, will be unlocked within months, with scientists saying it could lead to new ways of controlling the bollworm moth that causes $5 billion of damage to crops around the world. In a project funded by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the University of Melbourne, researchers are now working to sequence its genome, with results expected in about four months.
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This Sphinx moth belongs to the family of Sphingidae, subfamily of Macroglossinae. It's dark pinkish brown with sharp pinkish white bands and streaks. The wingspan is 8.7- 9.6 cm. The caterpillars pupate in shallow chambers in soil. Habitat is in tropical, subtropical and austral lowlands. The caterpillars host is Primrose-willow and other plants in the primrose family. The adult moth feeds on flower nectar. This moth was photographed outdoors perching on a concrete wall of a building in Florida.
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Purple emperor moth with eyes on wings.
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A press release about the discovery notes, "The new moth, officially described as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, stands out with yellowish-white scales present on the head in adults. In fact, it was in these scales that the author found an amusing reference to Mr. Trump's hairstyle and turned it into an additional justification for its name."
Another factor in giving the moth the Trump name was to hopefully spare the species from the complete loss of its already threatened natural habitat by raising awareness of its existence and its plight.
Said Nazari, "The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California underscores the importance of conservation of the fragile habitats that still contain undescribed and threatened species...By naming this species after the 45th President of the United States, I hope to bring some public attention to, and interest in...better understanding the neglected micro-fauna component of the North American biodiversity."