Is the ‘American Winged Goblin’ insect real?

A photograph depicts an “American winged goblin” or “Angelus mandragora luctus admonum parva américanum”, an insect that resembles a goblin.

Fact check

A photograph showing a winged insect with a goblin-like face made the rounds of the internet in September 2022, claiming it to be a true species known as the “American winged goblin” or “Angelus mandragora luctus admonum parva americanum”.

The caption under the Reddit post containing this photo reads:

He is known as an American winged goblin. It is extremely rare, and only the second specimen discovered to date. The scientific name: Angelus mandragora luctus admonum parva américanum, translates to The Mandrake Angel Weeps the Little American Admonition.

It is not an insect, because winged insects have 6 legs, so it was classified in an indefinable intermediate category.

The only known copy was in the possession of the Emperor of China and painted on a silk tapestry, and it was the features of a girl.

The spooky species is said to possess certain powers, including that of dazzling, healing, and extraordinary intelligence according to the Chinese writings on the tapestry.

Yet it is a photograph taken from an artist’s story and presented as a real insect. The photo appeared earlier on the Facebook page inner magicwho frequently posts about the work of creating little dolls of woodland creatures from fairy tales that look like goblins, sprites, and more.

The photograph appeared on the Facebook page on August 17, 2022:

The artist also wrote in the same post on August 17, 2022: “Some of my fairy pictures are misunderstood. How I work. I channel the energies of the fairies. And give them expression in this 3rd dimension [sic]. to connect with us humans.

In a comment below the image, someone wrote: “On another site this morning, someone claimed that this artwork was a real bug and only two of them were found. Lmao. The artist replied: “I know. On many sites That’s why I posted [sic] the real story.

The artist share this work on Facebook in July 2020 as well. There are many similar creations on the page, including this one:

The page has around 29,000 subscribers and states that it is an “artist page for magical creatures of this world and beyond”. We have contacted the artist and will update this post if we get more information.

Since the photograph is clearly not of an actual bug or insect and appears to have been taken from an artist’s account of small dolls that are fairy tale creatures with characteristic insect-like, we call this claim a “mistaken legend”.


“Inner magic.” Facebook, Accessed September 19, 2022.

NSFW-SF-Bay-MachoMan. “American Winged Goblin: Has anyone seen this before?!” R/Blackmagic, September 17, 2022, Accessed September 19, 2022.