By: David Strege
The first word that comes to mind when casting your eyes upon this photo of a bedazzling insect labeled the Venezuelan Poodle Moth is Photoshop. Really? A moth that looks like a poodle? Eyelashes that Lady Gaga would envy? Seriously?
As it turns out, yes, it is real. The image that has been buzzing around the Internet in the past week–and has been greeted with a measure of skepticism–is very much authentic and comes to you via a zoologist from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Dr. Karl Shuker, a zoologist, science writer, and cryptozoologist (one who studies animals in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence), investigated the photo that is taking the Web by storm and discovered Dr. Arthur Anker, NUS, and his legitimate collection of 75 photos from Gran Sabana national park in Venezuela.
From the ShukerNature blog:
These photographs formed just one set of numerous spectacular images that Art has taken while visiting tropical rainforests and other exotic locations worldwide, and which he has placed in photosets on the Flickr website (his Flickr user name is artour_a).
The photo of the Venezuelan Poodle Moth–someone likened it to a Pokemon character–had been in mothballs since 2009 until someone plucked it out of Anker’s Flickr account and posted the funny-looking insect online within the past week or so. Not surprisingly, it subsequently took off in cyberspace.
Fortunately, Dr. Anker agreed to allow us to show you some of the other bizarre and funny-looking moths in that Gran Sabana collection, with his descriptions and our comments:
Description: “This one is very funny looking.”
Comment: It’s the Rickie Fowler of moths. You know, the PGA player who dresses like this.
Description: Psychophasma erosa.
Comment: For some reason (the name, maybe?), this moth reminds us of Lady Gaga.
Comment: Believed to have had a cameo role in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Description: Copiopteryx semiramis.
Comment: One wonders how this moth with a skeletal hipbone-like frame ever gets off the ground, let alone finds a way into an old suit hanging in the closet.
Comment: The Santa Claus moth.
Comment: If an ordinary housefly looked this good, we might not be so quick with the fly swatter.
Description: Pretty geometrid moth.
Comment: Each year, children worldwide wear these angel wings during Christmas pageants.