At first fleeting glance, most folks tend to assume that ‘Bug Bunny’ is this wee parasite’s name. I suppose that might seem to be a logical enough conclusion, given the dude’s striking resemblance to a certain smart-alecky hare that we all fondly remember from the Saturday morning television cartoons of our youth.
But, no, that is not his name; ‘Bug Bunny’ is, in fact, his profession, for here we have a prime exemplar of Haemodipsus ventricosus — a common louse that can afflict both wild and domestic rabbits — with an uncommon overbite and a silly grin. (Dr. Alphonse McGreevey, the local semi-retired veterinarian who eventually discovered and removed this particularly goofy lop-eared pest from Little Emmie Lou’s pet Angora, Snoball, discovered that the dippy insect even appears to respond to the sharp call of “Hey, Moe!”.
As you may guess from the slightly protruding ladder to Moe’s immediate left, every time his rabbit host would hide in his burrow, this louse would burrow into his hide (usually for a carrot sandwich and a nap on the couch, or some other amusing antic). Bear in mind that as entertaining as H. ventricosus might be, however, he is also first and foremost a perennial pest.
The dutiful entomologist should also be careful not to confuse this lousy comic character with its relentlessly plodding predator, the funny foraging flea Fuddsodipsus elmerenia, which often inhabits the very same environs — to amusing effect. Fuddsodipsus can best be recognized by its gullibility, its smooth cranium, or its inherent inability to pronounce the letter ‘R’.
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