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this is a poodle moth...

 ... and I shall call it... no, not Ben. That name's taken.

This is Ben.

Thephoto (2).JPG

And this is a poodle moth (via Animal Story):

The photo's all over the internet (especially via pinterest: there's a particularly lovely image collection here). However, neither scirus nor google scholar searches return a scientific name for this lovely fluffy insect (& so I'm hoping the entomologists on Sciblogs can help out. 

I do wonder, though, if that fluffiness could be a problem for those who go 'squeeee' & would like one for themselves: in Venezuela another species of hairy moth has been linked with skin & respiratory symptoms.


(This is a 'lazy' post as my brain is still virus-fogged. More normal service will resume as soon as possible.)

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In Venezuela it was common to see a group of maybe 30 finger-sized caterpillars grouped in close contact, sitting on a tree trunk. Different people warned me never to touch them; that doing so could bring death several weeks later. No idea which species it was.

I can personally attest to the perils of tropical hairy caterpillars after a visit to Khao Sok National Park in Thailand just a few weeks ago. I wasn't careful where I put my hand on a tree trunk and ended up with two fingertips full of tiny spines from a large black woolly bear-type caterpillar. Like getting jabbed by a miniature porcupine. I carefully pulled out as many as I could, but the tips of several remained. They were tender for a couple of days, but settled down.

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