The flannel moth caterpillarā€™s bright yellow-orange tufts are suggestive of a certain presidential candidate. (Image: Credit: Jeff Cremer)

Did Donald Trump happen to lose one of his signature hairpieces in the Amazonian wilds of Peru? Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer snapped this image of a caterpillar sporting the Republican candidateā€™s signature bright orange-yellow tufts of hair while on a scouting expedition in Peru.

ā€œI was putting on my boots and someone said, ā€˜Hey, check out this caterpillar hanging out,ā€™ā€ Cremer recalled. ā€œSure enough, it was Donald Trumpā€™s hair hanging on a branch.ā€ Heā€™s dubbed it the ā€œTrumpapillar.ā€


The locals in the Peruvian Amazon call the critter ovejillo (ā€œlittle sheepā€ in Spanish), but its full name is Megalopyge opercularis, or colloquially, the flannel moth caterpillar. Itā€™s tiny, just 2.5 inches long, and its fluffy tufts can be red, white, or pink, as well as that Trump-tastic Day-Glo yellow.

But donā€™t let that adorable fluffy exterior fool you into thinking itā€™s harmless. The flannel moth caterpillar is actually venomous, and the hairs have very sharp, hollow spines, akin to a hypodermic needle, the better to puncture your skin and deliver a powerful dose of poisonous toxin. Yep, just like tarantulas, which at least have the decency to look scary. They can break off and lodge in your skin, too. The result, according to Cremer, is bright red welts and rather excruciating pain.


Thereā€™s some kind of metaphor in there, maybe.

[Live Science]