Pictures of a mysterious creature that looks like a cross between a moth and poodle recently went viral on the Web, with some people turning these pictures into memes, only increasing their popularity. The creature is called a Venezuelan poodle moth, and because of how peculiar it looks, plenty of questions revolve around whether it’s real or not.
Fortunately, the poodle moths are 100 percent real, and are possibly a new species of moth identified a few years ago. In 2009, Kyrgyzstan-based biologist Dr. Arthur Anker discovered the moths in Venezuela’s Gran Sabanaarea. The species seems to be related to another fuzzy looking moth, the Muslin Moth or Diaphoramendica.
The poodle moth almost certainly fits into the Lasiocampidae family and the genus Artace or other genus connected to Artace. There is also a possibility that the poodle moth is a new subspecies of the Artacecribraria, a species known to reside around Argentina and up to the northern parts of North America. So far, there are about 10 to 15 Artace species in South America that have been described and scientifically acknowledged. The possibility of the poodle moth to be a new species of previously scientifically undescribed species, or even a new regional subspecies, is high.
Beyond the photos and detail of its discovery, not a lot is known about this strange looking creature.