The world’s cutest moth

July 17, 2013 • 2:18 pm

From Arther Anker’s Photostream we have this photograph of a cuddly moth, which is becoming about as Internet-viral as an arthropod can get.

Don’t you just want to kiss it? It’s labeled:

“Poodle moth (Artace sp., perhaps A cribaria), Venezuela”

Picture 1

And its caterpillar, equally adorable:

Picture 4

There’s a video, too, though it doesn’t show much more than the above:

Anker has some lovely photos on his flickr website, especially those of arthropods (I recommend the treehoppers).  His c.v. (he’s a postdoc) is here.

22 thoughts on “The world’s cutest moth

  1. Very cool critter! But something about the antennae and the compound eyes give this cutie a bit of a sinister vibe to me.

    1. I am sure it does not. I think this species feeds on the leaves of various tree species.
      There are thousands of moth species world wide of which only a tiny percentage eat wool. These are mostly ‘micro’ moths especially from the Tineidae that have evolved to feed on the detritus in birds nests and similar places. They have the ability to digest keratin and have in a small number of cases found that human habitations provide ideal conditions of food and shelter.
      The majority of moth species though are leaf eaters and some can be important crop pests as a result but most are entirely harmless to us.
      Of course moths also form an important component of many ecosystems, as pollinators, as prey to bats, birds and other insects and so on.
      Many of them look amazing too!
      In short, moths are great!

  2. Awww, I want to tickle it in between its antennae!

    I think a lot of moths look cute. I also think treehoppers are cute especially around the mouth area because they don’t have yucky insect leg parts there but a little “o” of a mouth. It must be so tricky to photograph them because they are so, well hoppy!

  3. Why can’t we have those, down in Texas, instead of fire ants and, now, tawny crazy ants?! Those moths are so much cuter and far less likely to bite or short circuit electrical things!

  4. Cuteness is a stray kitten’s way of not being dropped-off at the canal. How about some thoughts on the evolutionary benefits of cuteness specie to specie! In my long internet book ‘Origins of Belief and Behaviour’ I speculate that there is a kind of universal personality-type to be found in mammals, birds, reptiles amphibians, and even some worms and insects. They are all able to show cuteness when young and vulnerable, and other creatures seem to respect that cuteness. Even my voracious and killer cat would probably play with this moth rather than kill it as he does with other insects on the farm.
    But curiously that personality-type is not shared by the third of the human specie who have a different type of consciousness; one that convinces them that they can best self-actualise by finding a place within a real or imaginary hierarchy of authority. I call that group ‘Drones’. Once within that hierarchy, they ‘obey orders’. That allows them to tell lies, exploit others, and even murder with a free consciousness. The largest sub-set of that group are the religious. Religion allows them to use lies, to distort facts and to misuse information, because it is all part of obedience to the authority-structure.
    I have an old book written by an English pastor in 1811 which details first-hand how Catholics in Portuguese-India burned non-believers alive, and this eighty years before the birth of my father!
    Oh, dear! Such gloomy realisations upon the sight of a pretty moth.

    1. Not going to lie, that sounds pretty pseudoscientific to me.

      Also, you may want to look up ‘specie’ and ‘species’. They don’t mean anything like the same thing.

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