Monday, June 04, 2007

I Vant to Suck Your Blooooood

Making summer vacation plans? Go ahead and skip Finland - you wouldn't like the pristine forests, clean lakes, or excellent culture. Plus, they have blood-sucking moths.

A blood-sucking moth is becoming a frequent sight in Finland. The nature journal Suomen Luonto published what it said were the first pictures of a vampire moth feasting on human blood. The moths (calyptra thalictri) were first detected sucking human blood in the Russian Far East. Vladimir Kononenko, a moth researcher from Vladivostok, said that when undisturbed, the moth can feast for several minutes. The vampire moth has a stronger sucker than most moths. Generally moths obtain nutrients from water or plants. In Finland, the moth was first detected in the year 2000 in Simpele, near the Russian border. Since then, the insect has been spotted over 100 times in Finland. Researcher Kauri Mikkola, who wrote the journal article, said it's unlikely that the moth would spread disease in Finland.