Spectaularly toxic

So, our farm is apparently teaming with somewhat toxic critters. I say this as I just happened to catch this guy out of the corner of my eye during one of our pasture walks…

Saddleback caterpillar

Saddleback caterpillar

This venomous caterpillar is the larval stage of the slug moth and is the second most dangerous caterpillar in North America (the Flannel moth is first with its larva called the puss caterpillar). The venom can be hemolytic and can cause an intense, systemic allergic response (urticaria). There is great info about this critter at the University of Florida’s entomology site:

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/medical/saddleback_caterpillar.htm

The lesson I am learning is if something is pretty and spiky…DO NOT TOUCH IT!

 

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