Io moth larva

A little more information on the spiny, green caterpillar from yesterday. It is the Io moth larva….and it happens to be one of the venomous caterpillars found in these parts. The spines are connected to poison glands which release their venom upon contact (glad I observed from afar…well, I was close for the photo, but I didn’t touch the thing realizing that anything with spines probably SHOULDN’T be handled). Here is some additional information:

Here is what the moth looks like (from Wikipedia):

Female is brown, male is yellow

The female has eye-spots, too (again, from Wikipedia)

Here’s info about the stings:

http://www.poisoncentertampa.org/venomous-critters/caterpillars.aspx#io-moth

Possible Symptoms Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.
Recommended Treatment Protocol Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.

2 comments

  1. Amy, both Nate and I came into direct contact with this ‘pillar at Andrew’s cabin. It took months of agony before all of the spines came out and the itching and pain stops. Not a good event. Put my arm on it on a picnic table, didn’;t see it. Marge

    1. Yikes. I knew it couldn’t be a good thing to touch. Love from a distance. At least we know to be aware that they are out there. I guess I got a little lucky. Not sure how I noticed it. Was weeding, yanking fist fulls of greenery left and right. I could’ve easily grabbed a fist full of spiky caterpillar!

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