Is the ‘Venezuelan Poodle Moth’ Real?

A photograph purportedly shows a newly discovered species of moth.

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Image via DeAgostini/Getty Images


Photograph shows a newly discovered species of "Venezuelan poodle moth."



The confusion was understandable.

Is there such a bug as the Venezuelan Poodle Moth?

Needle felted model of the ever popular Venezuelan poodle moth.

The moth was first discovered and photographed in 2009 and is believed to be a new species. It’s thought to belong to the lepidopteran genus Artace.

The “Venezuelan poodle moth” is a possible new species of moth discovered in 2009 in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela by Dr. Arthur Anker of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Images of the fuzzy moth discovered by Dr. Anker took the Internet by storm in August 2012, as reported by the Christian Post:

A Venezuelan poodle moth is mystifying researchers, baffling the internet, and confusing everyone at a first casual glance. The insect, seemingly a blend of a large moth and a bright, fluffy white poodle, was discovered in 2009 and may be a new species.

The Venezuelan poodle moth was first captured on film by Dr. Arthur Anker of Bishkek, Krgyzstan, who posted all 75 photographs of his time at the Gran Sabana National Park on Flickr. His trip to the Venezuelan park didn’t gain much fame at the time, however, until last week, when someone noticed and posted the picture online.

Another researcher, Dr. Karl Shuker, took an interest in the fuzzy white creature with bulging black eyes and strange brown antennae. He used his background in zoology, cryptozoology, and science writing to showcase the animal on his blog among other amazing finds.

“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,” he wrote on his blog ShukerNature.

However, the critter pictured above appears to be a model (not an actual example) of a similar-looking but different species of moth, the Bombyx mori, also known as the (China) silkworm moth (pictured at top of this article).

The so-called Venezuelan poodle moth looks like this:

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Distant, Daniel   “Venezuelan Poodle Moth Confuses Scientists.”
    The Christian Post.   29 August 2012.

Atlantic.   “Venezuelan Poodle Moth Is the Internet’s Favorite Pet This Week.”
    30 August 2012.

Daily Mail.   “Is It a Bird? Is It a Dog? No… It’s a Moth That Looks Like a POODLE!”
    21 August 2012.