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The Stuff Of Nightmares [Oct. 14th, 2007|02:02 pm]
Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015

I took this picture just outside of the sliding glass door to my bedroom. This caterpillar is really creepy. I wouldn't want to be stung by it's scary spines. It has a cousin in Argentina that has such a fierce sting that the people it stings go insane from the pain.

Be cautious when you're out climbing trees [info]curculio. We want you back here as sane as you were when you left.

Black and Orange Spikey-Spined Caterpillar at Rent House

[User Picture]From: amysn
2007-10-14 10:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't realize that caterpillars sting. Does this one sting, or only its Argentinian cousin?

It sure is pretty.
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2007-10-15 03:36 am (UTC)

Nature Bites

Lots of caterpillars sting. If it has bristles or hairs, don't touch it. Check out http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef003.asp for some pictures.

The worst one around here is the cute little fuzzy puss caterpillar, aka the stinging asp. See http://hortipm.tamu.edu/pestprofiles/chewing/asp/asp.html for info. It's so cute, you just want to pick it up and pet it. But hidden in its fur are stingers that can make you hurt worse than a Texas scorpion sting.
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[User Picture]From: ndozo
2007-10-15 01:24 am (UTC)

Don't bring it over here please

What does it turn into? Can the spines pierce gloves?
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2007-10-15 03:38 am (UTC)

I'm Giving You One For Christmas

I don't know and I don't know.
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[User Picture]From: ndozo
2007-10-15 12:05 pm (UTC)

I have converted to Zoroastrianism and no longer celebrate chriswhateveryoucallit

This is from a bug site that asked ent...gists what their most painful bite had been:
Well, I won't list everything that has stung me, but I would have to rate Arilus cristatus, the wheel bug, as my greatest pain in the field. I picked one up to show someone at a rest area, knowing full well they could bite and thinking I had it in a "safe" position, when it nailed me on the thumb. It caused intense, burning pain for about 4 hours, and then a tingly, bruised feeling for another 2 days."

A Wheel Bug for Ahura's sake! And they are so friendly looking.
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[User Picture]From: ndozo
2007-10-15 01:07 pm (UTC)

Maybe the stuff of dreams?

This is kind of nice. I believe that the scary critter your photo is the caterpillar of a Question Mark butterfly. I don't think it stings, but I'm not sure.




Also: [This is regarding the Saddleback caterpillar, NOT the Question Mark.] "... The sting from the spines on the body of the caterpillar is painfully unforgettable. This is a great caterpillar to examine in the landscape but avoid physical contact unless you have latex gloves or some other type of protective gloves...."
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2007-10-15 04:22 pm (UTC)


It looks like you are right! Thankyouthankyouthankyou. I am labeling this guy as a Question Mark Caterpillar. I have two trustworthy sources with caterpillars that look like mine, http://bugguide.net/node/view/6988 and http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/misc/qmark.html.

So maybe this guy turned into FlutterButter.

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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2007-10-15 04:40 pm (UTC)

Thanks For The Link

I'll use a flickr site to help me start IDing something. But unless I know the person posting is an expert in that area, I'll only use their photos as a starting place. I then look for verification of the ID on bugguide.net or a .edu site.

That being said, I already used one of junesbugs' pictures flickr site to ID a picture I took of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar.

It looks like junesbugs' Flickr site is going to be a good resource. Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2007-10-15 01:21 pm (UTC)
It looks like it's on hackberry leaves, which would fit with a Question Mark, except that nearly all its spines are orange.

The Question Mark is a very pretty butterfly that comes in two (seasonal) color patterns...I have trouble remembering which is which. One brood is all orange (both pairs of wings) with dark spots; the other has orange wings with dark markings in front and dark (brown or black) hind wings.

I wouldn't touch it either, but then I figure that if catepillars have hairs or spines, it's for defense against all those voracious birds that think caterpillars are delicious. The puss caterpillar, which we called "asp" when I was a kid in South Texas, is the one that I remember causing the most pain...it was like having a hot iron laid on your skin.
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[User Picture]From: ndozo
2007-10-15 02:04 pm (UTC)
There seems to be some variation among ?caterpillars. The one pictured in this link has similar orangey spines:


Until cdozo moved to TX. I did not know that caterpillars could sting. While looking up this guy, I saw pictures of the asp caterpillars and they look like My Little Pony caterpillars, like they should come with a glittery pink comb. What a mean caterpillar trick.
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