Poodle moth too cute to be real?

Photo copyright Dr. Arthur Anker.

Photo copyright Dr. Arthur Anker.

Nature is chock full of amazing stuff.

There are microbes that feed on arsenic as though the deadly poison were Krispy Kremes and bipedal ape-like creatures inhabiting the woods of North Georgia.

Neither of those turned out to be true, but thankfully there’s this picture of the adorably weird Venezuelan poodle moth. Unlike black lions and other animal hoaxes, this creature may be real.

NBC keeps a lid on the hysteria with the headline “Bizarre poodle moth fascinates and frightens the masses online.”

I’m not sure why anyone would be scared of a butterfly’s ugly cousin, but I think you will agree the tropical critter is interesting. The NBC writer, who has perhaps spent too much time with action figures, says the moth resembles “a Power Rangers villain — for example, Finster, the loyal servant of Rita Repulsa.”

Zoologist Arthur Anker allegedly took the poodle moth picture Jan. 1, 2009, but scientists traversing the park in Venezuela where it was seen have been unable to find it again.

That’s why cryptozoologist Karl Shuker is on the case. Shuker, who destroys hoaxes like Piltdown Man destroyed peer review, says the poodle moth may be related to the muslin moth (aka Diaphora mendica), and provides photos of a specimen in North Carolina.

Shuker is unable to determine if the poodle moth is any more real than Mothra, but seems hopeful.

“Thousands of new insects are discovered every year in the South American rainforests, so it would be by no means unusual if the Venezuelan poodle moth proved to be [a new species],” he writes in his blog.

22 comments Add your comment


August 28th, 2012
12:48 pm

I want one!!


August 28th, 2012
1:12 pm

I have a bug zapper that would take care of that.


August 28th, 2012
1:20 pm

Yuck! Please keep it in South America!

Call It Like It Is

August 28th, 2012
1:24 pm

Somebody call Godzilla!


August 28th, 2012
1:33 pm

It appears to be an extra-hairy silkworm moth. A search on Flickr for silkworm moth shows he has many cousins. Dunno why it would be so hard for people to recognize it.

Aunt Ruth

August 28th, 2012
1:43 pm

This thing looks cute right up until it zips into your ear and bores its way through your brain.


August 28th, 2012
2:04 pm

I think we should catch them, mate them, multiply them, and then make pillow stuffing out of them!


August 28th, 2012
3:08 pm


August 28th, 2012
3:34 pm


August 28th, 2012
3:36 pm

please make a reality show about it.


August 28th, 2012
3:45 pm

There is nothing “cute” about this moth…I would freak out if I saw that thing flying around or sitting on anything.

Farmer Bill

August 28th, 2012
4:16 pm

I currently have a Jack-a-lope for sell, only to a good home. Oh yeah, and I’d like visitation rights….


August 28th, 2012
4:46 pm

This will surely give me nightmares!


August 28th, 2012
6:10 pm

There has been estimated 15,000 – 20,000 different kind of butterflies in the world and an estimated 10 times as many moths which most have never been identified. I am sure this little butterfly exist. Would be nice to see one of these rare moths. Since most moths fly at night, it may be hard to find this one again. I am a avid butterfly photographer and I say, “Congratulations” to Dr. Arthur Anker for discovering a new moth.


August 28th, 2012
6:18 pm

This is the most adorable moth ever…I want one


August 28th, 2012
7:36 pm



August 28th, 2012
11:38 pm

how is this at all frightening or ugly?? SO CUTE! I want one. no two. And I want them the size of a chinchilla >^<


August 29th, 2012
12:54 am

This is what happens when you troll!


August 29th, 2012
2:22 pm

It looks just like Mothra!


August 29th, 2012
4:27 pm

I think they are adorable. But anything that looks like that my be just a hoax.


August 29th, 2012
9:13 pm

looks delicious!!

Madeleine Zeller

September 1st, 2012
8:34 pm

Too cute! I want this for my icon. Also please this & all animals alone!