The Poodle Moth

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by owidener
Last updated 5 years ago


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The Poodle Moth

The Poodle Moth

The Venezuelan poodle moth is a possible new species of moth discovered in 2009 by Dr. Arthur Anker of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela. It bears similarities to the Diaphora mendica, the muslin moth, but most likely belongs to the lepidopteran genus Artace.

The Venezuelan Poodle Moth — the almost unreal looking subject of the popular meme — is believe it or not, a real animal, not a hoax. The species was only recently identified, in 2009, but there are actually quite a few rather closely related moth species that look just as interesting/strange.

The species almost definitely belongs to the family Lasiocampidae, and most likely belongs to the genus Artace, or perhaps another genus closely related to Artace. While it’s possible that it may be a subspecies of Artace cribraria — which is presumed to range from northern North America down to to Argentina — it seems more likely that it may be a different species. There are somewhere around 10-15 South American species of Artace that have been scientifically described so far, so it may be one of those, or possibly a regional subspecies, or a species which has yet to be scientifically described.

Beyond that, there isn’t really much else known about the species currently, unfortunately…

This is a Poodle Moth caterpillar.

Some people thought Poodle Moths were a crazy photoshop mix of a dog, butterfly, and bird. They aren't!