Wednesday, August 29, 2012
We interrupt your post-election coverage to bring you this:
The Venezuelan Poodle Moth has the distinction of being both something that I would run away in terror from, as well as something that I want to capture and train to battle other frightening creatures with inexplicable elemental powers.
Below the jump, the story behind the moth's Internet fame.
The Venezuelan poodle moth is even more bizarre-looking than your run-of-the-mill muslin moth. That's largely due to the details that zoologist Arthur Anker of Brazil's Federal University of Ceara captured in the photograph he took in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela's Canaima National Park several years ago.
. . .
Shuker would love to nail down the flying poodle's precise species name: "Is it indeed a member of Arctiidae, or are its taxonomic affinities elsewhere? Could it even be a species still undescribed by science? Thousands of new insects are discovered every year in the South American rain forests, so it would be by no means unusual if Art's Venezuelan poodle moth proved to be one, too," he wrote on the ShukerNature blog.
No, seriously — as someone who grew up in the middle of the Pokemon boom, this thing looks like something that I would find walking in tall grass in some strange amalgamation of Japan and the United States.