If you're thirsty enough to suck the salty tears from a sleeping bird's eye, you just might be a very creepy moth from the Amazon rainforest.
Kudos to photographer Leandro Moraes for not losing it when he spied an Erebid moth (Gorgone macarea) perched gingerly on the head of resting Black-chinned Antbird (Hypocnemoides melanopogon).
When the research ecologist from the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, Brazil moved in for a closer look he could barely believe his eyes – and no doubt, wanted to cover them.
The moth, gently flexing its wings to steady itself, was probing the bird's eye with its flexible proboscis, much like a butterfly extending its long coiled tongue to sip nectar from a flower.
Except, of course, the sight of a butterfly sipping nectar evokes pleasant feelings of warm summer days while the bizarre tableau of a glowing-eyed moth sucking tears out of an oblivious (hypnotized? paralyzed? both??) bird's eye is the essence of nightmare fuel. Watch the short but spine-tingling video here... if you dare! (via AAAS Science Mag)